Worms, planets, extra dimensions: just a few of the things that inspire the most creative young scientists of the year
By the PopSci StaffPosted 09.13.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
by John B. Carnett
John B. Carnett
By "brilliant," we don´t mean smart. Or at least not just smart. Brilliance is marked by insight, creativity and tenacity. It´s the confidence to eschew established wisdom in order to develop your own. It´s the foolishness needed to set out for the edge of understanding and sail right past it, ignoring the signs reading "Thar be monsters" (not to mention "Turn back lest ye never be awarded a decent research grant again").
That´s why, when we started the six-month-long process of selecting our Brilliant 10 awardees, we asked hundreds of respected scientists, university department heads and journal editors to name not the most established or well-known scientists in their fields. We asked for the mavericks. The young guns. The individuals who are changing not just what we know but the limits of what we think it´s possible to know. The eventual winners are young (average age: 34), and each is just beginning to be noticed in the world outside their respective fields. But among their peers, our winners´ oft-radical ideas are generating a rare degree of respect and admiration. Among us, as well. And for that, they deserve to be part of our Brilliant 10.