Top 10 stories of 2012: Across the board

There has been no shortage of news at Yale this year. In fact, YaleNews has published well over 1,000 pieces of content — articles, announcements, slideshows, and videos — making the task of choosing 50 top stories (10 in each of our five news channels) rather daunting.

We chose our top-10 stories in each channel based on the interest and attention they gained at Yale and beyond. And we’ve taken the top two from each channel to compile the following list of Top 10 stories for 2012 across the board.

In order of popularity:

1. Yale scientists explain how ketamine vanquishes depression within hours (Science & Health)

Hands-down, the most-read story of the year — with 14,000-plus readers — looked at how a party drug known as “Special K” could dramatically lower depression. Readers were also interested in the news that stress — even healthy stress — can shrink the brain.

2. Yale at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games (World & Environment)

Eyes around the world were on London, including those of nearly 8,000 readers who visited the YaleNews page about The Games, which included information on the Yale athletes at The Games in 2012 and throughout history, and the Yale rowers who won gold, silver and bronze medals.

3. Seven new Open Yale Courses now available free online (Campus & Community)

Nearly 6,000 readers logged on for news about the virtual classes they could “attend” as part of Yale’s open educational initiative. In related news, three Yale Open Courses were named among the top five online courses in China.

4. Exhaustive family tree for birds shows recent, rapid diversification (Science & Health)

Bird lovers were undoubtedly among the over 5,000 readers who made this the second-highest story in the Science & Health channel. And speaking of birds, ancient ones had wing feathers that were a serious drag. The work by Yale researchers to create a “Map of Life” also scored well with readers.

5. Levin to step down as Yale president at end of academic year;

Yale provost Peter Salovey to be the University’s next president (Campus & Community)

For the first time in 20 years, the Yale presidency is changing hands, and thousands of readers both near and far were eager to learn about the news, especially the six facts about the president-elect. Two other leadership stories also garnered viewer interest: Yale Secretary Kimberly Goff-Crews’ arrival on campus and Yale’s two newest trustees (announced in July) and trustee Margaret Marshall (announced in September).

6. Six Yale researchers honored for early-career achievements (Campus & Community)

The second-highest-rated Campus & Community story of 2012 (garnering over 4,000 hits) was about some of Yale’s youngest prize-winning faculty. Readers also logged on in large numbers for the story about computer scientist Daniel Spielman, who won a MacArthur Foundation grant (often referred to as the “genius” prize) and for an introduction to the 34 new faculty ladder faculty who joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

7. Professor John Gaddis, alumni win Pulitzer Prizes (Arts & Humanities)

Yale boasted five Pulitzer winners in 2012. (Gaddis’ book, “George F. Kennan: An American Life,” had already garnered a National Book Critics Circle Award.)

8. Yale at the Academy Awards (Arts & Humanities)

YaleNews’ look at Yale alumni who have earned Oscar nods over the years earned (virtual) applause from our readers. Also on the dramatic side, 2012 saw the endowment of a center devoted to the creation of new works for the stage. Not to be upstaged, the Bard was the focus of numerous activities, from plays to exhibitions, during the spring-term Shakespeare at Yale celebration.

9. Election 2012: Yale perspectives (Business, Law, & Society)

Whether they agreed or disagreed with what they found there, many readers came to the YaleNews Election 2012 page to read and watch as Yale experts offered their perspectives on the U.S. presidential race, most notably the first and second panels on “The Economy and the Election” moderated by President Richard C. Levin.

10. Recent graduate touted as ‘All-Star Student Entrepreneur’ (Business, Law, & Society)

Stories about start-up businesses by Yale students — such as Max Uhlenhuth, co-founder of the satellite imagery company SilviaTerra — were popular this year, especially an interview with the alumni founders of the company Higher One about growing a business and growing in New Haven.