Nature’s 10 – Ten scientists who mattered this year according to Nature

Nature’s 10

Yuan Cao’s teenage years were hardly typical. By age 18, he had already graduated from high school, completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, and travelled to the United States to begin his PhD.

The science journal Nature has released its annual list of what it calls “Ten people who mattered this year.”

Nature’s 10 – Ten people who mattered this year.

YUAN CAO: Graphene wrangler

A PhD student coaxed superconductivity from sheets of atom-thick carbon.

VIVIANE SLON: Humanity’s historian

A palaeogeneticist discovered a remarkable ancient hybrid hominin: half Neanderthal, half Denisovan.


A scientist’s claim to have created gene-edited babies generated international furore.

JESS WADE: Diversity champion

A physicist wrote hundreds of Wikipedia pages to boost the profiles of scientists from under-represented groups.


A climatologist was a driving force behind the IPCC’s stark report on global warming.

ANTHONY BROWN: Star mapper

Working behind the scenes, an astronomer coordinated the release of Gaia’s long-awaited bounty of Milky Way data.

BEE YIN YEO: Force for the environment

Malaysia’s new science and environment minister became a strong voice against plastic pollution.


A genealogist helped to identify a serial killer and paved the way for DNA to play a larger part in solving crimes.

ROBERT-JAN SMITS: Open-access leader

A bureaucrat launched a drive to transform science publishing.

MAKOTO YOSHIKAWA: Asteroid hunter

An astronomer leads a mission to collect samples from an asteroid.

Insight: Surprising and interesting facts about snow

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants