October 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 18)
Strong Points: Nice concept, entertaining
Weak Points: Browse feature broken, distracting rating system
On the Superstars of Science website you won’t find any references to Spider Man or Superman. Instead, the superheroes you’ll encounter are highly influential and decorated scientists of our age, including many Nobel laureates. It is interesting to peruse the profiles of the scientists on the site, who span the disciplines of biochemistry, biology, chemistry, and immunology, among others. Users can search for scientists by name, institution, or keyword, and site visitors can also nominate a scientist for inclusion in this virtual Legion of Academic Super Heroes. The website is not without its flaws—for instance, users are currently unable to browse the collection of scientific superstars (the navigational links are broken). Additionally, the scoring system employed by the website (which awards points for academic metrics such as publications and public metrics such as Facebook “likes”) is distracting and unnecessary. I don’t feel that the emphasis should be on ranking these scientists—rather, all of these magnificent people should be equally celebrated.