For those pursuing scientific careers, 2020 brought plenty of challenges


The COVID-19 pandemic posed daunting challenges to those pursuing scientific careers this year, so it’s no surprise that it took center stage in stories published by Science Careers. Some of those stories are now months old, but the issues—limited job openings, obstacles for parents, mental health concerns—remain front of mind for many. And the pandemic wasn’t the only story of the year. Here’s a look back at some headlines from an eventful 12 months.  

‘The spark has ignited.’ Latin American scientists intensify fight against sexual harassment

In February, we reported on progress made—and gaps that remain—in university policies and procedures.

The pandemic is hitting scientist parents hard, and some solutions may backfire

Data from the early months of the pandemic quantified lost work hours and productivity.

Virtual scientific conferences open doors to researchers around the world

Our survey of spring and summer virtual meetings showed that most saw higher—and perhaps more diverse—attendance than in previous years.

Graduate programs drop GRE after online version raises concerns about fairness

In June, we reported on a new wrinkle to the “GRExit” movement, spurred by the pandemic.

As the pandemic erodes grad student mental health, academics sound the alarm

Two surveys conducted over the summer put numbers to the issue. 

Amid pandemic, U.S. faculty job openings plummet

Our analysis of job boards during the fall application season revealed that STEM postings were down by about 70%.

‘A time of reckoning.’ How scientists confronted anti-Black racism and built community in 2020

In a year of racial unrest, social media events celebrating Black scientists took off.

Our top Working Life essays from the year

Each week we publish a personal essay in our Working Life series. These were the year’s most read pieces.

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