Inside Science Looks Back at 2021
Maps Expert via Shutterstock; Teaser image: Dilok Klaisataporn via Shutterstock
(Inside Science) -- It's been a tough year. Again. And now, with the omicron variant quickly spreading through the world, it can be hard to remember that there was also good stuff in 2021.
Vaccines against the coronavirus became available and were distributed to billions of people around the world -- more than 8 billion doses, according to Our World in Data. And throughout 2021, amid the continuing pandemic, our team at Inside Science has provided a steady stream of science news about what's been happening around the universe, in arenas from the cultural to the cosmic. Our coverage has included important discoveries, novel findings, and efforts to explain the strange and sometimes wonderful science found in our daily lives.
Our Inside Science team would like to thank our readers and viewers for making this another record year for visits to our website and YouTube channel. Thanks for sharing -- and indulging -- our curiosity about everything from whether bamboo could make good cricket bats to explaining how artificial intelligence can help find hidden roads.
We've been working hard to identify and answer your questions, including the ones you didn't know you had. That's where our fun begins, as we find new research and talk to the scientists and experts behind new discoveries.
Thanks also to our partners that syndicate our stories, including ABC News, Discover Magazine, and Astronomy Magazine. We've also been thrilled to have our stories mentioned in Esquire.com (Yes, Charles P. Pierce, it is always a good day for dinosaur news!) and Smithsonian.com, and recognized by Science Shortform's science writing awards (Nala Rogers' story on the sounds cicadas make certainly was terrific).
Our most popular stories published this year were:
- Nala Rogers' feature on the imperiled fossils that contain some of the earliest evidence for life
- Charles Q. Choi's report on a previously unknown lineage of extinct humans
- Our team's valiant but unsuccessful predictions of this year's Nobel prize winners
- Nala Rogers' story about using satellite images and artificial intelligence to find roads in the Amazon
- And finally, Krystal Vasquez's reporting on how trees could be contributing to air pollution in Los Angeles
Our top five videos are from our archive -- on how fireworks make fun shapes, the ways bees communicate, a blood test for depression, drops that help treat cataracts, and a seasonally appropriate video that's climbing up the leaderboard, about a snowflake photographer. I also want to highlight this year's breakdown of the differences between meteors, meteor showers, meteorites and meteoroids.
If you liked those stories, you might also enjoy my coverage of Major League Baseball's controversial move this season to change how it enforced rules against pitchers using sticky stuff on the mound.
Thanks everyone for watching our videos and reading our stories in 2021. Here's to a better 2022.