Saluting Science's Best

Embryonic stem cell researcher Woo Suk Hwang and the founders of Google, Inc., are among the 50 people named by Scientific American as having made the greatest contributions to science and technology in 2005.

The annual Scientific American 50 is featured in the December issue, and was selected by the magazine's board of editors along with several outside advisors.

Editor-In-Chief John Rennie says, "this is our way of saluting the people and companies and organizations that we think are doing the most to advance technology in really beneficial ways."

Hwang was named "Research Leader of the Year" for his work on stem cells. Earlier this year, he and his team created 11 stem cell lines, each one the perfect genetic match of a different patient. In August, Hwang and his team introduced the first cloned dog.

"He did some amazing work in being able to create lines of embryonic stem cells from individual adult patients," Rennie said. "This is exactly the kind of thing that people hoped we would some day be able to do in order to use stem cells to create some kinds of great new therapies for curing all sorts of diseases."

Google, Inc., was named "Business Leader of the Year." Its co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have turned the company from a simple search tool into a multi-faceted Internet powerhouse.

"They've done so much in being able to create different sort of tools and amazing new ways of looking for information," Rennie said. "They just become a tremendous creative force and one that really it could revolutionize the way we organize information even just in our personal machines let alone the web."

Finnish-born researcher Fred Kavli was named "Policy Leader of the Year" for his work in helping fund the research of others.

by Bob Bicknell