Featured Interviews

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In these featured interviews, scientists talk to ScienceWatch.com and offer behind-the-scenes insights into their research: reflections on what led them to their chosen field, the motivation driving their work in a given direction, and the challenges encountered along on the way.

These authors also offer their views on why their work has wielded particular influence in the scientific community, as indicated by Thomson Reuters citation data, and on how research in their respective fields has progressed over time and will likely unfold in the future. To view previously featured interviews from past months, see below.



M. Santosh

“As an outsider, both in the research community and in a foreign society, I faced many challenges, including language issues, unfamiliarity with systems and practices, and most importantly, domestic funding agencies turning down my funding applications, despite my high productivity and research impact.”
Featured Interview, 2012

Michael H. Huang

“Since starting my independent research career at NTHU in 2002, I have pursued studies on the controlled synthesis of nanomaterials. Being a graduate student and a postdoctoral fellow, I just did my best to finish my projects. However, at the time I did not know that my postdoctoral work could have such a profound impact on the scientific community.”
Featured Interview, June 2012

Colombo Bolognesi

"Our paper reported the very first gallium nitride (GaN)-based transistors to show cutoff frequencies exceeding 200 GHz. This breakthrough was accomplished using a new material combination involving aluminum-indium-nitride (AlInN), a compound semiconductor material largely pioneered in Prof. Grandjean's group at EPFL in Lausanne, our co-authors on the paper. Up to the work described in the paper, this newer AlInN/GaN material combination always led to slower transistors than those fabricated in the..."
New Hot Papers, January 2012

Ottmar Edenhofer & Brigitte Knopf

"The paper shows different transformation pathways of the global energy system to achieve climate change mitigation. It provides a comprehensive synthesis of a model-based approach to assess the costs and the technologies for achieving the global 2°C objective. In order to underpin political commitment of stakeholders and decision-makers to tackle the 2°C target, it needs to be shown that the goal is not only technically feasible but also economically viable. In our paper, we explore the feasibility of the 2°C target in terms of ..."
New Hot Papers, January 2012

John Ellis

"We were among the first to realize that the new era of precision cosmology ushered in by the WMAP data would also constrain quite accurately models of physics beyond the Standard Model. Specifically, WMAP permitted a determination of the dark matter density that imposed important constraints on supersymmetric model parameters. This occurred at a time when physicists were looking forward to the searches for supersymmetry at the LHC and in astroparticle physics, so it was "the right paper in the right..."
Special Topic of Supersymmetry, January 2012

Henry S. Friedman

"When we’re talking about malignant glioma, the field has moved very slowly. If we stretch the last decade a little bit, to the late 1990s, then temozolomide represents a step in the right direction, a modestly active drug. When you look at therapy of malignant glioma, it’s been known for a long time that surgery, major resection, and radiotherapy increases duration of survival but doesn’t cure it. There are two drugs from the 1960s that are approved for malignant glioma, and then temozolomide and, more recently Avastin. That’s it. ..."
Special Topic of Glioblastoma, January 2012

Gerd Gigerenzer & Henry Brighton

"The paper describes the major discoveries in the study of heuristics, and presents a new explanation for why heuristics enable organisms to make accurate inference in uncertain environments. Relative to models which optimize, heuristics are traditionally seen as strategies which reduce effort at the expense of accuracy. This paper explains why heuristics, by ignoring information, allow the decision maker to both reduce effort and improve accuracy. More generally, our work examines why what is rational in a risky..."
New Hot Papers, January 2012

Rui Hai Liu

"We all knew that consumption of fruit and vegetables lowers the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease and other coronary disease. People were thinking at the time that maybe it was the bioactive compounds, the phytochemicals, but they were trying to isolate a specific compound – vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C and then other bioactive compounds like beta carotene, alpha carotene , and then maybe lutein, and lycopene from tomatoes. So the idea was that you could lower the risk of coronary disease by consuming..."
Featured Scientist, January 2012

Shinichi Nakagawa

"Our paper describes a synthesis of knowledge regarding how we could improve our interpretation and presentation of statistical results. In many biological sciences, statistical reporting concentrates on whether results are “statistically significant” or not. However, such dichotomous decisions are misleading because statistical significance is always likely when a study has a large enough sample size. When we interpret our scientific results, we should instead focus on effect size – for example, how much..."
Fast Moving Fronts, January 2012


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