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Scientific Approach to Research News

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A passion for, and expertise in, mathematics is one of the building blocks of a successful actuarial career. Yet in today’s busy workplace, it can be difficult to stay abreast of the latest scientific thinking and the most up-to-date approaches in such technical fields.

ScienceDaily aims to solve that problem by providing breaking news about theories, discoveries, and more, in areas like mathematics, statistics, and modelling. Every day it searches the internet to gather hundreds of stories on studies, papers, discoveries, and announcements, and presents them in an easy-to-read format, free of charge.

Since its launch in 1995 its strategy has proved very successful, and it now claims to have three million monthly visitors who enjoy more than 65,000 research articles, hundreds of educational videos, and thousands of encyclopedia entries and book reviews.

Actuarial-related topics are part of the Computers & Math section, but ScienceDaily also covers topics like health, psychology, the environment/climate change, education, disaster planning, and scientific legal issues. Each subject area is divided into subcategories and offers news, articles, videos, images, book reviews, and reference material. For example, the math/statistics content includes:
  • News reports on a model that explains how birds learn to sing, techniques to predict when an ecosystem might collapse, all-cause mortality risk, and "mathematical counselling";
  • Articles on what you should know about statistics, probability distribution, how poorly-presented statistics could misinform health decisions, symmetry in mathematics, and scientific methods; and
  • Videos on researchers creating a model to predict the paths of pandemics, using dance to teach mathematics, algorithms, and the mathematical details behind successful sales.
The highly-illustrated site, which is updated several times a day, links to journals and academic studies, research papers, and other material, and offers visitors a custom search function to probe its extensive archive. It is said to have links with around 2,000 contributing organizations worldwide, and its staff include a leading science editor and a teacher. Linked to or present on all the major social networks, it also provides RSS feeds and e-mail newsletters to ensure that its readers can stay up to date at all times.

Careful indexing and use of keywords means that it is easy to browse from one topic to another, and a curious visitor can quickly pass from intensive articles, on subjects like how to solve math problems non-consciously or the impact of a surprise result on taking future risks, to "water cooler conversation" topics like the mortality risks of being a solo rock star or the dangers inherent in popping a bottle of champagne.


It says it is best known for "showcasing the top science news stories from the world’s leading universities and research organizations", but for an actuary keen to keep their fingers on the pulse of mathematical thinking, it offers a whole lot more.


Pros: the scope of information; the numerous links.

Con: many of the research articles are clearly written for beginners rather than professionals.

Address: www.sciencedaily.com


 

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