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Monday, May 18, 2009

Science for Humanity

Today's issue of The Toronto Star has an article on Andras Nagy, a colleague who works at one of the hospital research institutes here in Toronto. Apparently Nagy made a list of "Top 10 awards for work in science-related endeavours" in a magazine called Scientific Magazine [Scientist honoured for stem-cell coup].

I tried to find this magazine and the names of the other winners but nothing seemed to work. Google was not my friend today.

Later on, after lunch, I noticed a press release from "Scientific American." That magazine was naming "Ten researchers, politicians, business executives and philanthropists who have recently demonstrated outstanding commitment to assuring that the benefits of new technologies and knowledge will accrue to humanity" [Scientific American 10: Guiding Science for Humanity].

Sure enough, Andras Nagy was on that list. Here's the complete list. Congratulations to Genie Scott.

  1. Todd Brady
    Corporate environmental manager
    Intel, Santa Clara, Calif.
    A chip company makes expansion of its environmental footprint a priority

  2. Shai Agassi
    Founder and chief executive
    Better Place, Palo Alto, Calif.
    A wonderfully simple recharging scheme may ensure a future for electric vehicles

  3. Wafaa El-Sadr
    Infectious Disease Division, Harlem Hospital Center, New York City
    The physician leads a multipronged public health campaign to fight the scourge of HIV

  4. Robert J. Lin­hardt
    Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    A chemical sleuth unravels the cause of deaths from a tainted drug

  5. Eugenie Scott
    Executive director
    National Center for Science Education, Oakland, Calif.
    A champion for the teaching of evolution steps up her advocacy

  6. Bill Gates/Michael Bloomberg
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    Mayor of New York City
    Celebrity heft propels a campaign to limit smoking

  7. Bryan Willson
    Professor of mechanical engineering
    Colorado State University
    An engineer facilitates clean energy technology for the developing world

  8. Kristian Olson
    Program Leader
    Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, Boston
    Simple, low-cost resuscitators and incubators can save newborns in the developing world

  9. Andras Nagy
    Senior investigator
    Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
    A biologist discovers a practical method of making stem cells from mature cells

  10. Barack Obama
    President of the U.S.
    The new chief executive begins his term by initiating a radical shift in science policy
It would be fun to see the top ten scientists—men and women who have contributed the most to our understanding of the natural world.


  1. I don't understand why Andras Nagy has been singled out... there are a lot of dudes finding better ways of making iPS cells.

  2. Nagy's team at Mount Sinai's Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute won a global race to find a safe way to transform adult skin cells into embryonic-like stem cells. I believe he had a collaborator in the University of Edinburough, so it's quite a disservice to him especially.

  3. I should clarify, I quoted the Toronto Star.

  4. I don't think he even got it to work in human cells yet..

  5. Well, one of the reasons he was singled out is because elimination of viruses and the genetic information they carry into the genome is heralded as a major step towards inducing pluripotency. None of the other "dudes" have managed to do this yet. He did have a collaborator who deserves their own praise. Perhaps Nagy was selected because his postdoc was the first and last author on either paper with toronto authors making up more than 70% of one and 50% of the other paper.

  6. ^
    See, for example, James Thomson's recent Science paper. They did it in human cells!

  7. "Perhaps Nagy was selected because his postdoc was the first and last author on either paper with toronto authors making up more than 70% of one and 50% of the other paper."
    In that case why wasn't the postdoc the one who was named in this list?

  8. Congratulations to Genie Scott.But, but, but, Dr. Scott is an accommodationist according to Prof. Moran. How can he congratulate an accommodationist?

  9. Shouldn't the goal of Brady and Intel be to REDUCE their environmental footprint?