The STEM Six: the best of STEM this week (September 14 2018)

By Carl Jackson

While all stories in this week’s round-up are wonderful (it’s not often you get a robot taking selfies on Mars), the story of Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s belated recognition for her discovery of pulsars after being passed over for a Nobel Prize in favour of a male colleague fifty years earlier is truly incredible.

Sit back, relax, and have a read through six of the best stories in STEM from the past seven days.

1. She made the discovery, but a man got the Nobel. A half-century later, she’s won a $3 million prize.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell – By Silicon Republic [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

It’s bad enough when you don’t get credit for the everyday work you do, but imagine making a world-changing discovery and then watching your male colleague be recognised with a Nobel Prize for your work instead. That’s what happened to Jocelyn Bell Burnell, but fortunately she hasn’t gone unrewarded; half a century after her discovery of pulsars, she’s set to receive a $3 million Breakthrough Prize.

Read her incredible story at The Washington Post

2. Meet some of 2018’s most influential women in STEM

Professor Kentish with a PhD candidate

Melbourne School of Engineering’s Professor Sandra Kentish, Head of the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, has joined a number of notable women in STEM on 2018’s Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence list.

Discover more about Professor Kentish’s career and her advice for other women rising through the ranks in STEM in Create News

3. NASA’s curiosity rover takes a stunning selfie under dusty Martian skies

By NASA/JPL-Caltech [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Social media’s full of selfies taken in impressive and intriguing places, but NASA’s Curiosity Rover definitely wins with its latest selfie. Taken on the surface of Mars, there’s no word on whether NASA installed duck-face capabilities on this photogenic robot prior to launch.

See this marvelous Mars selfie at Gizmodo

Take your stem discovery further with study in engineering & IT

4. Forecasting the cycle of epileptic seizures

Despite knowing that patients’ seizure times followed reliable patterns centuries ago, scientists were at a loss as to why. That’s set to change with a team of Melbourne researchers making breakthroughs understanding and reliably predicting seizure cycles.

See how they’re doing it in Pursuit

5. Decentralisation: the next big step for the world wide web

Proponents of a decentralised web, an online environment where people communicate without relying on large corporate gatekeepers who collect data for profit, gathered at the recent Decentralised Web Summit to discuss this grand idea. Including prominent internet elders such as world wide web creator Tim Berners-Lee, this meeting had special significance in the wake of recent issues such as the Snowden revelations and Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Learn more about the push for a decentralised web in the Guardian

6. Australia’s anti-encryption law will merely relocate the backdoors

With anti-encryption laws currently proposed by the Australian government, cybersecurity expert Dr Chris Culnane outlined his concerns over the bill’s potential to impact every website accessible from Australia with little to constrain the government’s powers.

Find out more about the potential issues with these new laws on ZDNet

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