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The Scientific American 50 Award

Our first annual celebration of visionaries from the worlds of research, industry and politics whose recent accomplishments point toward a brighter technological future for everyone


Scientific American is pleased to honor the 50 individuals, teams, companies and other organizations listed below.

Through their many accomplishments in 2001-2002, they have demonstrated clear, progressive views of what our technological future could be, as well as the leadership, knowledge and expertise essential to realizing those visions. Congratulations.

For a full description of their work, visit the Scientific American Archive and purchase the December issue.

 

RESEARCH LEADERS OF THE YEAR


Led the effort to sequence the genome of rice, the world's most important food crop.

STEPHEN GOFF
Syngenta¿s Torrey Mesa Research Institute

HUANMING YANG
Beijing Genomics Institute

JUN YU
University of Washington Genome Center

 

BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR


Advocated and oversaw the development of fuel cells as automotive energy sources.

GEOFFREY BALLARD
General Hydrogen


ADDITIONAL WINNERS

 

AGRICULTURE

ALLISON A. SNOW
Ohio State University
The potential of genetically engineered crops to pass traits to weeds must be understood.

G. STEVEN BURRILL
Burrill & Company
Advanced the cause of biotechnology by demonstrating its prudent investment value.

PRODIGENE, INC. College Station, Tex.
Produced transgenic corn that could be the basis for an edible AIDS vaccine.

SANDRA L. POSTEL
Global Water Policy Project
Advocated sweeping changes aimed at preserving the world¿s dwindling supplies of freshwater.


 

CHEMICALS AND MATERIALS

ANTHOULA LAZARIS AND COSTAS KARATZAS
Nexia Biotechnologies
Created transgenic goats that can manufacture superstrong spider silk in their milk.

RANDY HOWARD
Cargill Dow
Marketed "green" plastics made from corn that are economically competitive with conventional products.

JON S. CORZINE
U.S. Senate, New Jersey
Legislated for higher security and safety standards at industrial facilities to defend against terrorism.

MOTOROLA Schaumburg, Ill.
Integrated components made of different semiconductors onto single high-performance chips.


 

COMMUNICATIONS

MARC GOLDBURG
ArrayComm
Invented method for improving wireless services by beaming signals directly to mobile users.

MASOOD GARAHI
MeshNetworks
Tested systems for forging ad hoc high-speed wireless networks of mobile devices.

LAWRENCE LESSIG
Stanford University Law School
Argued against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online.

XM SATELLITE RADIO Washington, D.C.
Offered nationwide satellite-based radio broadcasts with digital audio quality and no commercials.


 

COMPUTING

JOHN KUBIATOWICZ
University of California, Berkeley
Designed a highly distributed data storage system that could be shared by millions of users simultaneously.

PAUL HORN
IBM Research
Directed his company and others to build more robust computer systems needing less care and supervision.

ANN BEESON
American Civil Liberties Union
Fought to ensure that personal freedoms would be preserved online and in digital media.

MATRIX SEMICONDUCTOR Santa Clara, Calif.
Developed vertically integrated microchips that could lower prices while boosting performance.


 

DEFENSE

JOAQUIN H. CASTRO
Pratt & Whitney Space Propulsion
Led the team that designed and built a functional prototype of a scramjet.

GILMAN LOUIE
In-Q-Tel, Inc.
Used venture capital to help foster needed intelligence-gathering technologies for U.S. security.

LT. GEN. JOHN RIGGS
U.S. Army Objective Force Task Force
Oversaw the high-tech transformation of ground forces for fighting new kinds of wars.

NORTHRUP GRUMMAN El Segundo, Calif.
Rapidly deployed its Global Hawk unmanned spy plane for reconnaissance in Afghanistan.


 

ENERGY

KEN DEERING
Wind Turbine Company
Designed new wind turbines that are more efficient and produce more power.

MANFRED STEFENER
Smart Fuel Cell
Led the commercial development of miniature fuel cells small enough to power mobile devices.

EDDIE O¿CONNOR
Airtricity
Guided Ireland¿s plans to build a massive wind power station at sea.

SPECTROLAB AND THE NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY Sylmar, Calif., and Golden, Colo.
Demonstrated photovoltaic cells with record-breakingly high efficiencies.


 

ENVIRONMENT

MICHAEL E. MANN
University of Virginia
Conducted influential research into global climate change that affected international policies.

JOAN BAVARIA
Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
Promoted social and environmental goals by guiding investments toward companies with responsible policies.

BILL BECKER
State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators
Lobbied successfully for pollution controls that will cut automotive emissions.

PUBLIC SERVICE ELECTRIC AND GAS State of New Jersey
Responded constructively to concerns about polluting emissions from utilities.


 

MANUFACTURING

R. STANLEY WILLIAMS, PHILIP KUEKES, YONG CHEN
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories
JAMES HEATH
University of California, Los Angeles
Invented self-assembling nanotechnology devices that might eventually surpass those etched into chips.

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