In science news around the world this week, a tobacco research project nominated for China’s 2012 National Science and Technology Progress Award has produced an uproar among China’s scientific community, the head of one of Croatia’s most important natural sciences institutes has lost her job, scientists began a massive accounting of seals in the Arctic, a new state-of-the-art U.S. laboratory for agricultural biodefense is in limbo, and publishers of more than 1000 Chinese journals have pledged to root out plagiarism and falsified research.
For the second year in a row, Thomson Reuters named Eric Lander of the Broad Institute the year’s most influential researcher. A group of undergraduates at Case Western Reserve University designed a non-Newtonian fluid to fill potholes. And this week’s numbers quantify the new record for most retractions by a single author and the number of coral species in U.S. waters that likely face extinction by 2100.
This week’s Newsmakers are Mohamed Ismail Khaled, the Egyptian official in charge of foreign archaeological missions, who spoke to a Yale University audience about the effects of the revolution, and astrophysicist Fang Lizhi, a champion of freedom, human rights, and democracy in China, who died at 76 on 6 April.