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Who are the 10 most important people working in science in 2009?

Readers, we'd like your recommendations.

Following up on our long-running Scientific American 50 series, we’re looking for 10 individuals who during the past year have demonstrated exceptional leadership and accomplishment in guaranteeing that future technologies will be applied to the benefit of humanity.

Here’s what you can do to help: Nominate researchers, engineers, business executives, and government and legal officials whose work has led to, or laid the groundwork for, important change. In the past, we’ve honored everyone from stem cell pioneers Kevin Eggan and Shinya Yamanaka (2006) to insurer Swiss Re (2006) to Fred Kavli, of the foundation that bears his name (2005). (We also cop to our mistakes: In 2005, we honored Woo-Suk Hwang, the now-disgraced stem cell researcher, but removed his name as soon as his fraud was uncovered.)

The nominees’ efforts may (and most likely will) stretch out over many years, but to be eligible, the nominees will need to have reached some significant landmark of accomplishment during the past year: the development of a working prototype; passage of a law; introduction of a new service, etc. Previous winners are eligible for consideration but not for accomplishments that are substantially the same or closely related to those that previously placed them among the Scientific American 10.

For a look at past honorees, see our 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004 Scientific American 50. In the weeks before our June issue – which will feature this year’s winners -- hits newsstands, we’ll be profiling winners from years past: “Where Are They Now?”

In the meantime, leave a comment on this post with your picks, send us a message on Twitter, or email us at editors@sciam.com. We look forward to your nominations.

photo by Aero17 via iStockphoto

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