What did science hold for us in 2014?
When the year 2014 was approaching, we at United Academics decided to set up a contest for our bloggers. We asked them to embrace their inner futurologist and write an article of their own choosing on what was going to happen in their field of science in 2014. This resulted in plenty of cool articles that we published in a special Predicting Science issue of our magazine. We handed out prizes for various writing styles. The grand prize, however, for the most accurate prediction, had to wait until 2014 concluded.
2014 has concluded a while ago now. I personally appologize for not wrapping this up earlier. Now finally, with the help of the new teammember Raymond Vermeulen, we have selected a winner. First, let me remind you of the lovely contributions for this Prediction Magazine.
Rhymes, tips and theories
Elisabeth Buhl Thubron gave us Four Tips For Sticking To Your New Year’s Resolutions. Pieter Carriére’s stepped into a poet’s shoes and created True Prophets Will Rhyme. Nura Rutten, critical of her own field, expressed her concerns about political scientists in From Theories To Statistics (Winner Most Original).
Agnese Mariotti kept it small and thorough with Personalized Tumor Immunotherapy (Winner Most Scientific). Next up, we got Koko Beers with Shaped By Machines (Winner Most Accessible), going in-depth about the future of brain-machine interfaces. Gunnar de Winter looked further ahead than just the end of 2014 in Will Climate Change Make Animals Shrink?
Speaking of long timelines, Simone Munao looked at what the earth has in store for us in Life on Earth: Best Before 1.75 billion years and predicted that we will soon be looking for Martians. Jeffrey Daniels instead was looking for Earth 2.0. Meanwhile, Chiara Civardi turned her gaze in the opposite direction in Where Have My Particles Gone? (Winner Most Humorous).
And the winner is…
Of course, picking the winner based on the merits of their predictions is no simple task. We simple-minded editors aren’t experts in the fields of our noble bloggers, after all. Ultimately it came down to who made the statement with the strongest predictive power for 2014. We decided that Jeffrey Daniels and Agnese Mariotti both made very strong, verifiable claims about what the year 2014 would have in store for science, both of which came true!
But did it all happen in 2014? Jeffrey predicted that we would find a new planet with a higher Earth Similarity Index than any found before. Unfortunately, Nasa confirmed that Kepler-438b has an ESI of 0.88, the highest measured so far, but only on January 6th! A week too late to count as an accurate prediction for 2014. Since Jeffrey’s claims still proved very up-to-date, we decided to award him with a consolation prize.
So the winner is Agnese, who correctly predicted 2014 would see the introduction of new Adoptive Cell Transfer therapies for treating tumors. Congratulations, Agnese, the Most Accurate Prediction award is yours, and all the glory that comes with it!rediction, bloggers, prize, science