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2017 top science news release breaks record

The most popular news release on EurekAlert! in 2017 is also the most-visited in the science-news service’s 21-year history.

Attracting 898,848 views since April, the University of Central Florida release — describing an artificial photosynthesis process that cleans air while producing energy, complete with video — outperformed a 2012 announcement of trending releases from that year, which has clocked 886,820 visits in five years.

Sunshine State shines

The UCF release is also the most-shared release of 2017 and surpassed its 2016 predecessorby 116%.

Institutions in the Sunshine State also outshone hundreds of others by occupying three of the 10 trending releases this year. In second place, the Florida Museum of Natural History release explains how migratory birds are bumped off schedule as climate change shifts spring, while Florida Atlantic University took the sixth spot with a release about bilingual children’s ability to develop both languages.

Most popular

The 2017 trending list collectively captured 3.2 million views, a 44% increase over last year. Health-related releases occupy five spots, with climate change, biology, social and behavioral sciences, and astronomy rounding out the rest. Unlike recent years, where journal publishers and institutions from around the world competed for top billings, no journal publisher releases made the list this year – and eight out of the 10 most-read releases were from the U.S., with the remaining from the U.K.

“Several of this year’s trending releases – including our all-time record-breaker – were based on very technical scientific papers which, without the efforts of public information officers, may have attracted little public attention,” said Brian Lin, Director of Editorial Content Strategy at EurekAlert!.

“We’re also thrilled to see EurekAlert!’s international audience embrace such wide-ranging topics as gene therapyworkplace diversity trainingmigratory birds, and how aliens might detect Earth.”

The 10 most popular news releases on EurekAlert! in 2017 are:

  1. Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air (898,848)
    University of Central Florida, Journal of Materials Chemistry A
  2. Migratory birds bumped off schedule as climate change shifts spring (484,976)
    Florida Museum of Natural History, Scientific Reports
  3. Gene therapy treats muscle-wasting disease in dogs (339,099)
    University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine, Molecular Therapy
  4. America’s youngest children most likely to live in poor economic conditions (333,716)
    Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
  5. New research helps organizations deliver stronger diversity training (288,700)
    University at Buffalo, Psychological Bulletin
  6. In young bilingual children 2 languages develop simultaneously but independently(268,129)
    Florida Atlantic University, Developmental Science
  7. Watching birds near your home is good for your mental health — official (247,763)
    University of Exeter, BioScience
  8. Fruits and vegetables’ latest superpower? Lowering blood pressure (140,145)
    University of Southern California – Health Sciences, American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism
  9. Are we being watched? Tens of other worlds could spot the Earth (134,271)
    Royal Astronomical Society, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  10. Scientists find key to regenerating blood vessels (132,145)
    Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Nature Communications

Most shared

Three of the five most-shared releases are also among the most-visited, including a report showing that “more American children are living in poverty today than at the height of the Great Recession.”

Also popular on social media is a release describing new techniques used to reveal the genderof a mid-10th century Viking warrior, whose iconic grave was excavated in the 1880s.

The five most-shared items on EurekAlert! in 2017 are:

  1. Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air (1,300 shares; 1,800 clicks)
    University of Central Florida, Journal of Materials Chemistry A
  2. An officer and a gentlewoman from the Viking army in Birka (482 shares; 543 clicks)
    Stockholm University, American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  3. Cannabis reverses aging processes in the brain (427 shares; 713 clicks)
    University of Bonn, Nature Medicine
  4. America’s youngest children most likely to live in poor economic conditions (352 shares; 104 clicks)
    Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
  5. Migratory birds bumped off schedule as climate change shifts spring (342 shares; 698 clicks)
    Florida Museum of Natural History; Scientific Reports

Social media sharing via AddThis in 2017 totaled 290,900, below 2016 level. Twitter, Facebook, and E-mail remain the preferred methods.

More than 32,000 news releases were accepted onto EurekAlert! in 2017, a nearly 9% increase from 2016. Each release was reviewed against the service’s longstanding eligibility guidelines.

All news releases were submitted by accredited research institutions, peer-reviewed journals, or their press agents and made available to registered science reporters and the public. The annual EurekAlert! trending news release list was compiled based on the number of public and reporter visits to news releases between 16 December 2016 and 15 December 2017.


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