Duke University biologist Sheila Patek has faced criticism from lawmakers over her research into mantis shrimp and trap-jaw ants, with some calling her government-funded studies a waste of taxpayer money. But according to Patek, not only do her findings have important practical applications, but scientific inquiry is most fruitful when knowledge is sought for its own sake, not to justify budgets.
Field-based research is often a core component of study for earth disciplines at the university level. It requires living away from home or campus, often in a remote or foreign area. A study released Wednesday by the University of Illinois is raising unsettling questions about the safety of such young female researchers living on site. Continue reading