Image credits (left to right): Poker: DOLGACHOV/ISTOCKPHOTO; Gene sequencing: SHAURY NASH via FLICKR (licensed under CC BY SA 2.0); Neutrino detector: JEAN LACHAT/UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.
Voting is now open for Science's 2017 Breakthrough of the Year. In addition to the journal's editors and writers selecting their top science story of the past year, as they have for the past two decades, for the fourth year in a row, they also invite readers to weigh in with their choice. [Editor's Note (12/4/17): The finalists have been chosen and you can vote for the winner.]
Twelve of the most momentous scientific discoveries, developments, or trends of 2017 are listed as semi-finalists:
- Artificial intelligence beats humans at poker
- Cassini's final voyage
- A new species of orangutan
- Ancient Homo sapiens remains found, changing date of human origins by 100,000 years
- Gene therapy success at crossing the blood-brain barrier
- Advances in cryo-electron microscopy allow insights into life's key molecules
- The invention of a small neutrino detector
- Sharing of pre-print biology articles becomes more common
- A new way to fix tiny mutations in human DNA and RNA
- The collision of two neutron stars
- The FDA approval of a drug to fight solid tumors, based on mutations, rather than origins
- The oldest ice core drilled from Antarctica is 2.7 million years old
Vote for your top choice for the most momentous scientific development, discovery, or trend of 2017. Educators could ask a student or two to each make the case for one of the semi-finalists and could then submit a single vote from the class as a whole, or they could ask each student to cast their own vote and to offer support for their choice.
Voting for this first round runs through midnight on December 3. A second round of voting beginning December 4 will narrow down four finalists to a single People's Choice winner. Both this selection and the editors' pick will be announced in the final 2017 issue of the magazine on December 21.
You can learn more about Science's Breakthrough of the Year for the past six years here on Science NetLinks. The breakthroughs were, for 2016, ripples in space time (the scientists who laid the groundwork for that discovery were honored with this year's Nobel Prize in physics); in 2015, the gene-splicing tool, CRISPR; for 2014, the Rosetta Mission to land a spacecraft on a comet (listen to the Science Update here); in 2013, cancer immunotherapy; for 2012, confirmation of the existence of the Higgs Boson particle; and in 2011, anti-HIV drugs.
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