Science News Presents The SN 10: Scientists to Watch

Meet Science News’ List of 10 Young Scientists Who Are Pushing the Boundaries of Scientific Inquiry

WASHINGTON, DC – For the sixth consecutive year, Science News is spotlighting 10 early- and mid-career scientists on their way to greater widespread acclaim. Some of this year’s honorees are focusing on questions with huge societal importance, including how we can prevent teen suicide, what are the ingredients in wildfire smoke that are damaging to health and whether there is a better way to monitor earthquakes. Others are trying to understand how weird and wonderful the universe is — from exploring how many black holes are out there to uncovering the drama that unfolds when life divvies up its genetic material.

Each scientist included in the SN 10 was nominated by a Nobel laureate, recently elected member of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences or a scientist previously named to our SN 10 list. All are age 40 or under, and were selected by Science News staff for their potential to shape the science of the future.

Science News is proud to present this year’s SN 10:

  1. Tonima Tasnim Ananna, 29, Dartmouth College
  2. Alessandra Corsi, 40, Texas Tech University
  3. Emily Fischer, 39, Colorado State University
  4. Prashant Jain, 38, University of Illinois
  5. Anna Mueller, 40, Indiana University
  6. Phiala Shanahan, 29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. Mikhail Shapiro, 39, Caltech
  8. Bo Wang, 39, Stanford University
  9. SaraH Zanders, 37, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
  10. Zhongwen Zhan, 33, Caltech

“Congratulations to the ten scientists and engineers for their remarkable and groundbreaking research,” said Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “I look forward to following the trajectory of theirs careers in the years to come.”

Nancy Shute, Editor in Chief of Science News, added, “The world has changed dramatically since the beginning of 2020, when we first sought SN 10 nominations. That said, this pandemic, as well as threats posed by wildfires and hurricanes, underscore the importance of scientific inquiry in solving our world’s most intractable challenges.”

Anna Mueller has also been named the winner of the $1,000 Jon C. Graff, Ph.D. Prize for Excellence in Science Communication.  Mueller was selected for her multi-pronged approach to getting her research findings to the public, her proactive approach to sharing her research in popular media and public conversations and use of timely cultural references to ‘hook’ non-academic audiences, according to the selection committee. In choosing a winner from the SN 10, the selection committee considered the scientists’ use of a variety of media and ability to communicate the long-term value of their work for society. The selection committee was composed of alumni of the Society’s science competitions. A Science News reader since 1974, donor Jon Graff is a pioneer in digital cryptography.

View the 10 stories of these incredible scientists here.

About Science News
Science News has been covering the latest discoveries in science, technology and medicine since 1921, and is published by Society for Science & the Public. It offers readers award-winning news and features, commentary, multimedia and access to archives going back to 1924. Concise, current and comprehensive, the magazine provides an approachable overview of all fields and applications of science and technology.

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About Society for Science & the Public
Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, the Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science & the Public is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).

Press Contact:
Gayle Kansagor