The Scientific American 50s Research Leader of the Year award went to a trio of biologists: Stephen Goff of Syngentas Torrey Mesa Research Institute, Yang Huanming of the Beijing Genomics Institute and Jun Yu of the University of Washington Genome Center. These researchers provided gene sequences--lists of genetic building blocks, called nucleotide bases, that make up an organisms chromosomes--for two types of rice, a crop that feeds more than half of the worlds population. Scientific American 50s Business Leader of the Year award went to Geoffrey Ballard, chairman of Vancouver's General Hydrogen. For more than 20 years Ballard has led the charge for hydrogen-based fuel cells, which produce electricity to power vehicles, with essentially only water vapor for emissions. Goff and Ballard discuss their work in these exclusive interviews with Scientific American.

To read the Stephen Goff interview, click here.

To read the Geoffrey Ballard interview, click here.

For the complete list of the Scientific American 50 winners, click here.