The Michigan State University Engine Research Laboratory is usually calm, but by midmorning on this August day, everyone is on edge. Then, a few minutes before noon, assistant engineering professor Norbert Müller gets the call they’re all waiting for: The most influential man in energy research is here to see Müller’s work.
The MacArthur Fellowship, commonly called the MacArthur Genius Award, is an annual presentation of no-strings-attached $500,000 grants (over five years) to smart people doing amazing things in the arts and sciences. This year brought 23 awards, with eight in hard science, ranging from a robotics-obsessed public school physics teacher to a biomedical animator to a black hole researcher—and, we're proud to see, one of last year's Brilliant 10 researchers, John Dabiri.
Here, meet this year's Genius Scientists.