The cover is the end of this year’s issue Science News a spectacular scientific achievement: an image of deep space captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. After decades of delays and cost overruns, the artfully intricate images began colluding this summer. Each image exceeded the expectations of scientific minds. We had a hard time choosing just one for the cover.
These extraordinary views, some spanning more than 13 billion years in time, brought us joy as well — so much so that we rounded out our year-end with this technological triumph, along with more stunning images (SN: 12/7/22 p.15). This year has had a lot of other big news in astronomy, including the launch of NASA’s Diana 1 mission, a key step in sending people to the moon and beyond (SN: 11/16/22 p.30). For a fool’s errand, it’s hard to beat NASA’s space shuttle, the asteroid’s curved trajectory. The first test of the method was to protect our planet from dangerous encounters with space rocks (SN: 10/11/22 p.30).
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It was also a big year for efforts against the onslaught of climate change, with the passage of legislation by the US Congress to invest billions of dollars in green energy technologies (SN: 12/14/22 p.28).
And here at Science NewsOur 100th anniversary project, the Science Center, involves the development of climate science, our digital lives, and more. Our March 26 issue chronicled how our journalism, like science, has evolved over the decades.
Forgive me for opening with the gospel; that’s the optimist in me. There were so many challenges in 2022. The SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to challenge hopes that it will disperse, with micron variants driving a historic surge in infections and deaths earlier this year.
Vaccinations for children and the renewal course were bright spots (SN: 12/13/22 p.23). But “pandemic fatigue” plus a mixed message from public officials has encouraged many to abandon precautions and drop shots, even though the virus has killed more than 300 people in the United States (SN: 12/9/22 p.20). And now, when we all really want, the holiday season has no worries about the creeping, dreaded diseases, flu and other viruses piling up.SN: 12/12/22 p.24). When do we cut these seeds to break? Never, a virologist would probably say.
But I am saddened by the fact that, with each great new challenge, scholars continue to get in the way of finding solutions.
#year #triumphs #challenges