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Please read this entire post carefully and format your application appropriately.

This post is for new panelist recruitment! The previous one is here.

The panel is an informal group of redditors who are either professional scientists or those in training to become so. All panelists have at least a graduate-level familiarity within their declared field of expertise and answer questions from related areas of study. A panelist's expertise is summarized in a color-coded AskScience flair.

Membership in the panel comes with access to a panelist subreddit. It is a place for panelists to interact with each other, voice concerns to the moderators, and where the moderators make announcements to the whole panel. It's a good place to network with people who share your interests!

You are eligible to join the panel if you:

  • Are studying for at least an MSc. or equivalent degree in the sciences, AND,

  • Are able to communicate your knowledge of your field at a level accessible to various audiences.

Instructions for formatting your panelist application:

  • Choose exactly one general field from the side-bar (Physics, Engineering, Social Sciences, etc.).

  • State your specific field in one word or phrase (Neuropathology, Quantum Chemistry, etc.)

  • Succinctly describe your particular area of research in a few words (carbon nanotube dielectric properties, myelin sheath degradation in Parkinsons patients, etc.)

  • Give us a brief synopsis of your education: are you a research scientist for three decades, or a first-year Ph.D. student?

  • Provide links to comments you've made in AskScience which you feel are indicative of your scholarship. Applications will not be approved without several comments made in /r/AskScience itself.

Ideally, these comments should clearly indicate your fluency in the fundamentals of your discipline as well as your expertise. We favor comments that contain citations so we can assess its correctness without specific domain knowledge.

Here's an example application:

   Username: /u/foretopsail
   General field: Anthropology
   Specific field: Maritime Archaeology
   Particular areas of research include historical archaeology, archaeometry, and ship construction. 
   Education: MA in archaeology, researcher for several years.
   Comments: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Please do not give us personally identifiable information and please follow the template. We're not going to do real-life background checks - we're just asking for reddit's best behavior. However, several moderators are tasked with monitoring panelist activity, and your credentials will be checked against the academic content of your posts on a continuing basis.

You can submit your application by replying to this post.

Stickied post

Hello Reddit!

I'm Dr. Liz Burmester, an ecologist with the Billion Oyster Project - a nonprofit dedicated to restoring 1 billion oysters in the NY Harbor by 2035 through education and community involvement. I'm here to answer questions with help from Atlas Obscura.

Why oysters? As suspension (filter) feeders and reef builders, oysters are a keystone species capable of important ecosystem services like water filtration and habitat creation for a variety of marine creatures. My research revolves around understanding how organisms survive, reproduce, and respond to stress. We use that information to inform the Billion Oyster Project's work on restoring the NY Harbor's - once impressive and thriving, but now functionally extinct - population of oysters.

Before transitioning to this urbanized environment, I researched another group of keystone reef builders - corals - and their ability to recover from localized stress.

As part of my work, I also serve as a mentor to high school students performing their own independent research in a career and technical education program at the Urban Assembly Harbor School in New York City.

Looking forward to your questions - I'll be on at 12 ET (16 UT) - ask me anything!


Is there something in sunscreen that stops your skin from burning? How is it different from other creams etc?


It can take weeks for antidepressants to take effect. How did researchers know to try these substances for depression? Were they being tested for something else and they noticed participants mood improved after a few weeks?

EDIT: Should be “whose” not “who’s” in post title


I have seen diagrams of catalysts which hold molecules in place so that they are in the correct orientation for reactions to occur but my textbook says that they provide a alternative route which lowers activation energy.

Does that mean orientation is factored into activation energy or are they separate things?

If so how do catalysts reduce activation energy? Does it do with the way they deform the electron shells of a molecule?


In this video from 1:13 to 1:22 you can see the cloudy turbulence as the shuttle's velocity climbs through the speed of sound. I understand that it would commence quickly as the "sound barrier" is breached. What surprised me was how abruptly that transition stopped. Why?


The humanity has been sending quite an amount of satellites, space shuttles etc. to the Earths orbit for the past ~60 years and from my understanding the LEO (Low Earth Orbit) is getting quite crowded by lost satellites, parts of shuttles and smaller debris.

My question is: How often do collisions between currently operational satellites and the ISS happen and how impactful are they?

As a side question, If we somehow created a device that could pull all the unwanted debris towards Earth to burn up in the atmosphere, how impactful would the emissions be on the Earth/would we even notice?


Since I was a student I have always wondered about beta decay. In hydrogen fusion, when two hydrogens come together to form deuterium one proton turns into a neutron and releases a neutrino. Does this neutrino live with up quarks, down quarks, gluons, and bosons? Or is it spontaneously created from within the nucleus to release the energy?

Posted byParasitology (Biochemistry/Cell Biology)2 hours ago

Both neon and argon can both be utilized in miniature, low brightness gas-discharge lamps called "glow bulbs" like these, that show off the color of these gasses very nicely.

I have an element display on my wall that I would like to also add Krypton and Xenon to in a similar manner, but cannot find any options that would not be blindingly bright and require special ballasts (i.e. short arc lamps).

Is such a bulb made with xenon and krypton fundamentally impossible due to the nature of the gases and their electrical conductivity? Or were these devices just never designed because the glow would just be "white" which is not as impressive looking as orange and blue?


Is it immediate?

Am I putting myself and my hand in imminent danger by immediately reaching in after I open it right at :01 when I try to beat the clock?


Hi all

Background - ok my wife found a bumble bee looking docile in the house so she fed it some honey, the bee perked up and flew out of the house.

Now we've had what we think is the same bee fly into our house 3 days in a row and each time fly to same spot in the house where she fed the bee honey - presumably to look for the honey.

So my question is - do bees have memory of locations for food or is it entirely pheromone based?

EDIT: i'm surprised to not see a nature flair to add to this post.


I've heard the classic explanation as to the wavelength being longer than the spatial frequency of the holes, so the radiation can't "see" the holes. But this is hard for me to visualize since the spatial frequency of the holes would be orthoganol to the wavelength of radiation. Can anyone provide an intuitive explanation?

--- Update 4/20/18 13:12E ---

Thank you for the explanation. I think the issue is we all have the classic TEM wave model in our heads, but it doesn't give any insight into the transverse physical dimensions of the fields. I think this leads to confusion with people that assume the vectors in the model correspond to physical boundaries of the light, rather than relative field strengths. I understand what happens when an EM wave contacts a faraday cage, but no one was explaining why it had to touch the cage at all. I just imagine the wave propagating through like in the double slit experiment.


I understand that when you turn off the detector it will give you the interference pattern, and when you turn it on, it will give you two slits only. I have seen an old cartoon video explaining it but I have yet to see it in real life. I have never seen any videos of a person turning on the detector and the whole pattern magically becomes two slits despite having googled it really hard. I understand the principle behind it, but just haven’t seen it in real life. I need a video of this.


On the technical specifications of a microwave it rates the output power at 1000W but the input power is only 850W; how is this possible? Power Information


Let's seperate organisms into some categories; Bacteria, Plants and Animals...

Thanks in advance!

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