People love lists — mostly, I think, so that they can argue about what’s on them and what’s not. That means much of the labor of producing this year-end issue involved arguing about what to leave out. What remains are the stories that reveal major shifts in human knowledge, reflect science’s biggest challenges and highlight the compelling and intriguing ways that science can illuminate the world around us. Or, so we would argue.
What stood out this year was the unprecedented Ebola epidemic that hit West Africa and extended its tendrils around the globe. Other standouts included the highs and lows of the search for gravitational