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Nature’s 10 people who helped shape science in 2021

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

An Omicron investigator, a Mars explorer and an AI ethics pioneer are some of the people behind the year’s big research stories.

Nature’s 10 list explores key developments in science this year and some of the people who played important parts in these milestones. Along with their colleagues, these individuals helped to make amazing discoveries and brought attention to crucial issues. Nature’s 10 is not an award or a ranking. The selection is compiled by Nature’s editors to highlight key events in science through the compelling stories of those involved.

Nature’s 10

  • Winnie Byanyima: Vaccine warrior

  • Friederike Otto: Weather detective

  • Zhang Rongqiao: Mars explorer

  • Timnit Gebru: AI ethics leader

  • Tulio de Oliveira: Variant tracker

  • John Jumper: Protein predictor

  • Victoria Tauli-Corpuz: Indigenous defender

  • Guillaume Cabanac: Deception sleuth

  • Meaghan Kall: COVID communicator

  • Janet Woodcock: Drug chief

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