Tuesday, June 30, 2009


If you’re like me, then there’s nothing more entertaining to you then seeing scientists put on shiny suits and ties and then pose awkwardly with various famous musicians.

Rock Stars of Science from the Geoffrey Beene Foundation is a long overdue acknowledgment of the importance of science and the need to promote interest in it. It's particularly exciting to see this kind of promotion done in an innovative way. Rather than simply profile these scientists as has been done numerous times before, Rock Stars of Science is trying to get people to see science in a new light and they're emphasizing how cool science is, and how cool it should be.

The Geoffrey Beene Foundation has an excellent history of promoting science, and their new program (coming soon to a GQ near you), is exactly what the scientific community needs. In a world in which 74% of people can't name a living scientist, it’s doesn't hurt to take abstract ideas such as “cure for cancer” and “AIDS vaccine” and show the people who are working so hard to make them a reality. These people have devoted their lives to saving the lives of others and they are responsible for some of the greatest discoveries of our lifetime. I think that should earn them the chance to stand next to Sheryl Crow for a photo shoot don’t you?

It’s with this in mind we present the . . .

New Voices Coolest Scientist Ever Tournament

For those basketball fans out there, the New Voices tourney is the science version of March Madness. Our bracket will feature the world's coolest scientists in a geeked-out challenge for title of Coolest Scientist Ever. We will have brackets for past and present scientists, and over the next month narrow the field from 16 to the one, undisputed Coolest Scientist Ever. Keep in mind we are not just comparing the quality of their discovery, but also how they would look in hyper fashionable clothing standing next to Will-i-am.

Take a moment to nominate your favorite scientist in the comments section. Starting next week we will post the brackets and begin the tournament! Followers of this blog will vote for the winners from each challenge (posted on Tuesdays), and the brackets will narrow each week. On July 31st, we will crown the Coolest Scientist Ever.


  1. Kristofor LanglaisJune 30, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Great contest...

    While his accomplishments ranged far beyond science, Benjamin Franklin was certainly one of the coolest people who ever lived. Those who have watched the John Adams miniseries can attest to that.

    I also nominate Nikola Tesla.

  2. Rosemary Benson-SalottiJune 30, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    I nominate Amishi P. Jha, PhD at University of Pennsylvania for work on mindfulness and memory.

  3. I nominate Jamie Thompson for his work with human embryonic stem cells.

  4. I nomiate Dr. Eugenie Clark for her extensive research contributions and public outreach efforts. Also, for how she has changed the way the public views scientists.

  5. I put forth Galileo Galilei, for his unbending courage against the anti-science, religious bigots. He was a Science Policy Advocate when the term itself was unborn. He faced much the same what stem-cell researchers are facing today. Plus, he has a cool beard. Atta boy!

  6. Louis Pasteur is my favorite. He disproved that frogs spontaneously generated from mud, and made milk safe, just for starters.