Five to watch in 2013

Nature predicts next year’s newsmakers.

Anne Glover, European Commission chief science adviser
As the first person to hold the position, Glover is planning to tackle hot-button topics such as genetically modified organisms and the use — or abuse — of science in policy-making. Let the fights begin.

Thomas Stocker, Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change
As co-chairman of the IPCC’s Working Group I, which will publish its report on the physical science aspects of climate change in 2013, Stocker will channel a familiar but increasingly urgent message.

Chris Austin, US National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
There are big claims, high expectations and sharp critics; now the head of the US National Institutes of Health’s bold new venture has to show that academia can succeed at drug discovery where pharma has struggled.

Jan Tauber, European Space Agency’s Planck mission
When Tauber’s team releases the most precise map yet of the cosmic microwave background, astronomers will comb the data for evidence of gravitational waves associated with inflation: a wrenching expansion of the Universe hypothesized to have occurred just after the Big Bang.

Rafael Yuste, Columbia University, New York
Big neuroscience is in vogue and nothing comes bigger than Yuste and his colleagues’ proposed Brain Activity Map Project, which aims to record all electrical activity from every neuron in a circuit.

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