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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.

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  • 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?

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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.

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Hello, Reddit. I am Dr. Michael Smith, WebMD's chief medical director. Have a question about ticks? We'll cover everything from ways to protect from tick bites to first aid steps to take if one bites you. AMA!

Hi Reddit, we are John Aucott, and Mark Soloski and we are researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine studying ticks and Lyme disease. Ever wonder why Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections have become so common? What makes some people get sicker than others? And how can we prevent and diagnose Lyme disease - that the classic bull's eye target is not as common as people think? We cover everything from fundamental research to clinical treatments - AUA!

We will begin answering questions at 12pET (17 UT). Ask us anything!


E.g. my abdominal muscles will burn while doing crunches, while my arms will just stop moving while doing chin-ups.


Ahoy! Wil jij kans maken op een duurzame, ontdekkingsreis naar Chili?


I was doing some reading on refractive index of gasses and how that leads to ionospheric propagation of radio waves, but none of the resources I found explain the correlation between increased upper atmosphere ionization levels and increased angle of refraction.

I know that the precise refractive index of a gas is highly dependent on frequency, but I haven't been able to find even a vague outline of whether the refractive index of a gas goes up or down with increasing ionization, and it seems that either direction could explain the increased angle of refraction at a given frequency, depending on where in the ionosphere the "virtual reflector" is located. What papers I've found are all regarding self focusing and scattering of lasers in plasmas and such, and while the information I want might be there, it's so abstract that I can't find it.

The most logical explanation seems to be that ionized gas has a higher refractive index, which creates a tighter gradient between the index of the atmosphere (which is >1) and space (which is ~1), which leads to total internal refraction at a higher incident angle.

The other way of looking at it seems almost as logical though; that only the upper most layers of the atmosphere become ionized, dropping the refractive index of that layer closer to the ~1 of space, which still results in a tighter gradient between space and atmosphere, but at a lower altitude.

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Can you build a radio camera that would let you to see router antenna signal as "light source"?

  1. Is this a normal behavior in certain goat breeds or is this considered a disorder?
  2. In the case of the former, does this serve any evolutionary purpose? Or we simply don't know?

These questions come from my thinking that a goat fainting in the wild would be a huge disadvantage. Of course, this might be a result of domestication?

Any insight for my pure curiosity is appreciated. :)


Hi, I hope I don't sound stupid asking this question. Is it possible to harness energy through sound waves? They're vibrations which is a form of energy, right?


I live in a coastal town and it always seems that a high tide is a lot higher when it occurs in the evening/night as opposed to in the day. Is this just coincidence or is there something else causing this?


So recently there have been planet wide wind storms on Mars. I looked up some information about Mars' atmosphere and saw that it has 0.6% of the pressure Earth has at sea level. If this is true how is there enough of a pressure difference in the atmosphere on Mars to produce winds strong enough and for a great enough periods of time that a planet wide storm is born that literally shapes the way the surface looks.


As the title states, I have found one study showing the efficacy of the TDAP vaccine given to mother’s. ( However, this appears pretty recent so I don’t know if it has gone through peer review and/or the results have been reproduced. I am aware of the fallacy of relying upon just one study only to find out it was an erroneous result. However, I’m not super proficient in doing scientific research and haven’t found other studies.

My question is twofold: 1) At what stage of the scientific vetting process is this result/Has anyone reproduced it? 2). I know that before efficacy studies are done, there are usually safety studies completed. Can you help me find those so I can take a look at them (I’m having trouble finding studies)?


I've studied electrical engineering for some years, but honestly I'm still struggling with understanding complex AC concepts, especially reactive power. What's its role in transmission networks since reactive power can't do real work? Why is it important for large alternators on the grid?


It seems like there's been a number of claims, like this and a recent YouTube video out there that gold gets its color due to special relativity and the effect it has on atomic orbitals. This claim seems to relate back to this work on some gold-based molecules in a fluid. It's also appears in wikipedia here.

However, the reflection spectra of atomic gases are entirely different than atomic solids and often atomic spectral lines have no connection to the way a solid reflects light. The reason for metallic reflectivity is due to plasma oscillations and is a general property of a free-electron gas. Furthermore, looking at the reflectivity of gold and other metals, it's pretty clear that you don't have a sharp peak, like in atomic absorption lines, but a cut-off where all energies above it are not reflected (like a plasma frequency cut-off).

So are these claims about metallic gold getting its color from relativistic effects (i.e. atomic spectra) a bunch of bunk? Or is the plasma frequency of gold related to its absorption spectra in some subtle way that makes such a claim valid?

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