Comparing the top keywords of 2014 and 2015 — What has changed in the world of science?

A finished bananagrams crossword by Wiki Commons.

Two weeks ago we showcased what were the top 10 keywords searched by scientists this past year. In this blog post, we compare it to our blog post from 2014 and see what has changed in the world of science!

Round up Blog 2

Top 5 Keywords in 2015

1) Carbon Dioxide Removal

2) Molecular and Cellular Biology

3) Geoengineering

4) Solar Radiation Management

5) Marine Cloud Brightening

Top 5 keywords in 2014

1) Neuroscience

2) Bioinformatics

3) Genomics

4) University of Cambridge

5) Biosynthesis

Compared to 2014, this year our top 5 keywords is dominated by climate change work — so much in fact that it takes up 4 of our top 5. This is most likely due to the greater interesting climate change this past year from John Oliver’s piece to COP21 — the Paris Climate Conference where over 150 world leaders attended along with 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates.

Due to the increase in global attention about climate change it isn’t surprising that this corresponds to parallel interest in the research. However, one notable aspect is that research seems to have moved on from purely studying climate change to actually solutions to climate change. This is evident in the top 4 research topics being methods of climate change mitigation using geoengineering by using carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management.

Echoing from last year, molecular & cellular biology makes is the only non-climate change keyword in our top 5. As biology is a hugely important field due to interest in medicine and health, it isn’t surprising that it holds a firm spot in second place overall. In addition to the top 5, this year we also examined the top 10, with number 6–10 is listed below.

6) Chemistry

7) Condensed Matter Physics

8) Biochemistry

9) Graphene

10) Materials Science

It isn’t surprising that chemistry made the top 10 due how large the field is in addition to our weekly blog posts about trends in the sector. Similarly from last year, biochemistry makes the list as it incorporates a large area from pharmaceutical research to the study of proteins and DNA. Condense Matter Physics is somewhat of a surprise, but its appearance in our top 10 is due to increase interest in physics in media.

Graphene, despite being a very narrow subject matter, has been a huge interest of late (even notable by our blog post) so it inching into 9th place is not at all surprising. Then finally at 10th place, materials science just making the top 10 keywords — this is most likely due to the surge in interest because of the need to develop new batteries pushed by Tesla and solar cells for climate change.


There has been a small shift from neuroscience towards climate change and molecular biology this past year for the users at Sparrho. What will 2016 bring?

Originally published at

Like what you read? Give Sparrho a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.