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DR NEIl DEGRASSE TYSoN DR lARRY P WAlKER
Best-selling author, director, Hayden Planetarium at the American Professor, Cornell University
Museum of Natural History
It’s not often that a scientist is ranked on his or her A national leader in biofuels
appearance. Tyson is an exception. America’s People technology, Walker is
magazine voted him Sexiest Astrophysicist in 2000. He is researching and developing
renowned for his charisma and colourful, yet informative ways to create an
explanations of science. Tyson, 51, is director of New York alternative fuel to gasoline
City’s Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of using more affordable
Natural History and has authored nine books, including natural resources such as
the best-seller Death by Black Hole: And other Cosmic trees and grass. He is a
Quandaries, and The Pluto Files. Tyson was educated in professor in the biological
the public school system before heading off to Harvard and environmental
where he earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and engineering department
then to Columbia to receive his doctorate in astrophysics. In 2006, NASA tapped at Cornell University, where he first began as an
Tyson to serve on its advisory council. He is an on-camera host of PBS-NoVA’s spin- assistant professor in 1978. He has been involved
off programme NoVA ScienceNow. Tyson and his wife, Alice, have two children. in several biomass to energy projects including an
assessment of New York State biomass resources
available for ethanol production and farm-scale
TAVIS SMIlEY
methane production and co-generation. Walker’s
expertise is in alignment with the US’s desire to
Journalist, political commentator
use plant-based resources to meet future energy
and industrial chemical needs. He is on the advisory
board of the Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy;
the Higher Education Committee steering committee;
Smiley hosts the late-night TV talk show Tavis Smiley, and the Cornell Nanobiotechnology Center executive
which covers news and pop culture and a similar, weekly, committee. Walker is director of the Northeast Sun
two-hour radio show. The 45-year-old made history in Grant Initiative and shares co-editor-in-chief duties of
2007 when he moderated and produced the All-American Industrial Biotechnology.
Presidential Forums on PBS, the first Democratic and
Republican presidential debates that featured a panel
comprised only of journalists of colour. He is also the
curator of America I AM: The African American Imprint,
ColIN HIll
an exhibit that highlights 500 years of African American
President, chair and CEo, Gene Network Sciences
history. The exhibit, featuring more than 300 pieces,
will tour 10 cities across the US over a four-year period.
Between 1996 and 2001 Smiley presented and was executive producer of BET Tonight
with Tavis Smiley, a public affairs discussion show. He wrote the best-seller Covenant Hill is president, chairman
With Black America and is a law and public policy graduate of Indiana University. and chief executive officer
of Gene Network Sciences
(GNS), a boutique biotech
RolAND S MARTIN
firm that uses chemical and
biological information to
Broadcaster and journalist
create computer models
of human cells and organs
to rapidly discover how
a specific drug will affect
Martin is quickly becoming a very recognisable figure a patient. In 2002, GNS
in American media. He garnered nationwide exposure created the largest known data-driven simulated model
when he joined CNN as a contributor in 2007, weighing in of a human cancer cell, allowing for quicker drug
heavily during the 2008 election cycle. Martin, 40, is also development. Hill, 36, wants to develop treatments and
a commentator for TV one Cable Network and a special cures for cancer, heart disease and sickle cell anaemia.
correspondent for Essence Magazine. In 2004, he was GNS has already enlisted a supercomputer and a map
brought on as executive editor of the Chicago Defender, of human DNA to help global pharmaceutical company
the nation’s largest black daily newspaper, in an effort to Pfizer and biotechnology company Biogen IDEC, Inc
revitalise the publication. He stayed for three years before invent new drugs. Hill is also chairman of GNS spin-
heading to CNN. Roland is the former founding news off, Fina Technologies, which applies next-generation
editor for Savoy magazine and the former founding editor artificial intelligence technology to real-time financial
of BlackAmericaWeb.com. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from of Texas trading. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from
A&M University and a master’s in Christian communications from louisiana Baptist Virginia Tech and a master’s from McGill University and
University. In August, he was elected secretary of the National Association of Black Cornell University. Hill, 36, co-founded GNS with fellow
Journalists. He and his wife, Rev Jacquie Hood Martin, reside in Chicago and Dallas. Cornell alum Iyal Khalil in 2000.
PowerList10_IS02_P0109-115 new.indd 7 09/09/2009 17:01
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