Science is the lifeblood that flows through the modern technology industry, and we celebrate it with this week's list.
But for science, we'd be ignoring some of the fundamental truths of our society. Those truths may not be pretty, but they are part of our past and possibly our future. But, in order for this discipline to have an effect, it needs people to carry the word forward.
Now more than ever the world needs people to spread the word about science and the philosophy it espouses. We all call to the gods in our way when we stub our toes but, when you really need it, science is the choice most people take. The benefits have certainly been huge.
A note about some of the people who didn't make it onto the list. My choice, David Attenborough, missed his slot because he has chosen to focus his intellect on life and the planet, rather than technology. I fought hard but couldn't justify it.
So here it is. As ever, let us know if there's something we've missed.
Mention: Terry Pratchett
Iain Thomson: Terry Pratchett ('Sir' when he feels like it) is best known as a fiction writer, especially the Discworld series which are still one of the most entertaining reads in the biosphere.
However, Pratchett also collaborated (and generated a lot of the popularity, let's not deny it) on a series of popular science books entitled The Science of Discworld with co-authors Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, who are proper scientists rather than just amazingly good at writing about it.
For those readers with an interest in science, and possibly kids who like a good read, these books are a goldmine. They cover physics, biology, chemistry and a fair amount of evolution, but clothe it in a Discworld framework that makes for easy reading and a narrative point too.
This is not to say that Pratchett doesn't add science into his stories but, since so much of his work is written in a world carried through the universe on the back of a giant turtle, this tends to be via allegory and metaphor.
Shaun Nichols: When putting this list together, Iain and I decided that we would make a point of leaving science fiction authors off the list for the most part. The only exceptions are Pratchett and another author who has devoted time to writing educational books along with science fiction titles.
Despite the nature of the genre, many science fiction titles can be fairly light on actual science, in many cases borrowing more from sociology, mythology and other areas to build the narrative than from any vision of the future.
Great science fiction writers are skilled at weaving together a story and savvy about cutting edge science and looming innovations. Few can do both, but the ones who can will become great.
Mention: Dr Benoît Mandelbrot
Shaun Nichols: While few people are familiar with the work of mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot, many are familiar with what his work has yielded.
Some of the most commonly seen examples of computer generated graphics can be directly traced to Mandelbrot's work with fractals.
Formulated as a mathematical method for handling nonlinear information, fractals were later used by computers to generate particularly striking and beautiful images as well as financial plans and realistic simulations.
Those trippy screensavers on your old PC? They can be traced back to the work of Mendelbrot. Sadly, the accomplished mathematician and IBM Fellow died earlier this month after a battle with cancer.
Iain Thomson: The news that Benoît Mandelbrot had passed on was a sad tinge on an otherwise great weekend.
For those of us who grew up knowing nothing but a green screen or fuzzy TV picture (quiet you punch card users and long hand programmers in the back) it's possible that the first really memorable graphics you saw was a Mandelbrot set running on a primitive graphics card.
The pictures were pretty, but the concept of an infinite model was astounding, and many of us spent hours exploring the graphics and mindset of such a thing.
His work inspired many in the computing sphere to build a bit more fuzziness into mathematical models, and we've all seen the benefits. As a side point, a 1990s raver will recognise the graphics that still crop up today.
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