BioScience has appointed a panel of distinguished experts who will screen nominations, and the journal will commission essays by experts on experiments judged worthy of recognition. The contest does not seek to identify a single "winner," but may honor several experiments. Experiments from any period in history will be considered. Further details about the contest are available at BioScience online at www.aibs.org/bioscienceonline.
Although scientists do not normally judge experiments by the subjective criterion of beauty, the notion has a precedent. In 2002, Robert P. Crease invited readers of Physics World to nominate beautiful physics experiments. And the late science historian Frederic Lawrence Holmes entitled a 2001 book 'Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNA: A History of "The Most Beautiful Experiment in Biology."' The invitation to presidents of the 86 member societies of the American Institute of Biological Sciences was sent by Timothy Beardsley, editor-in-chief of BioScience, and Gregory J. Anderson, 1997 distinguished alumni professor and head of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. Anderson serves as chair of the American Institute of Biological Sciences' publications committee.
"This is a light-hearted contest, but the underlying purpose is serious: to encourage biologists to think creatively about well known and less well known experiments," said Beardsley. The expert panel that will screen nominations consists of Richard M. Buri
Contact: Donna Royston
American Institute of Biological Sciences