Who are the most important & influential people in scien

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Who are the most important & influential people in scien

Postby Andrew Wiecek » Dec 04 2008 10:57 am

Discover has recently published a list of the 50 most important, influential, and promising people in science.

The list is broken up into several sections: 20 Best Scientists Under 40, 10 Most Influential People in the World of Science, 5 Prodigy Scientists Under 20, 10 Amateur Scientists Who Might Cure Cancer, and 5 Lifetime Achievers.

A sampling of the individuals involved in biomedical research who made the list can be found here.

“Best of” lists tend to be exclusive and reduce a large number of worthy candidates to a manageable unit for the reader. But, it can be argued that lists of this nature are not meant to be definitive, and that their purpose is to start a conversation to discover new exciting research, or change your opinion based on new information. 

Think someone should have made the list? Or that someone should be cut? Visit this thread to discuss with others the researchers who comprise your own “Top 10 Most Important, Influential, and Promising Biomedical Researchers” list.
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Postby Suzanne » Dec 05 2008 10:47 am

Hi Andrew,
Interesting topic. I scanned them over. I thought the "Amateur scientists who might cure cancer from their basements" category was fun to read and interesting. It is nice to see people acknowledged for contributions that are not using the mainstream channels to make discoveries.

They don't have PhDs and they aren't focused on papers and grants but on the science. It shows that you can accomplish anything if you have the smarts and the drive to make things happen.

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Postby r.rosati » Dec 05 2008 2:19 pm

Incidentally, one of the great "behind the scenes" figures in science died yesterday.

Henry Gustav Molaison was known as H.M., and helped neuroscientists to understand how memory works:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/us/05 ... gewanted=1

Edit: and we could then add to this "behind the scenes" list Henrietta Lacks, the (unknowing) donor of the tumor cells who would later be established as the HeLa cell line.
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Postby mpagel » Dec 05 2008 3:21 pm

WeirdOmen wrote:Edit: and we could then add to this "behind the scenes" list Henrietta Lacks, the (unknowing) donor of the tumor cells who would later be established as the HeLa cell line.

heh..i was told that was Helen Lane. But I'm guessing I was told incorrectly?
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Postby r.rosati » Dec 05 2008 4:07 pm

mpagel wrote:heh..i was told that was Helen Lane. But I'm guessing I was told incorrectly?


I was told that too - but apparently it was just a pseudonym to cover her privacy.

I have just found her story reported here (faithfully I hope).
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Postby mpagel » Dec 05 2008 8:41 pm

wiki also has a more brief article on the topic.
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