The Power and The Passion
The Power List 2019 highlights the strengths of analytical science – and the community behind it
Matt Hallam | | Opinion
The Power List 2019 has landed – a celebration of the top 100 most influential figures in analytical science.
Curating the list (collecting nominations received from across the globe, working closely with our judging panel, and corresponding with all 100 nominees) has been a lengthy process – but also a privilege. Few fields are supported by a workforce that can lay claim to the level of dedication and passion that our community exudes. Whether speaking of fundamentals or applications, biology, the environment or beyond, it’s clear to see that immersion in this field is closely tied to a real belief in its purpose.
And that’s likely why the field is so highly connected – and brimming with positivity. As Paul Bohn notes, we have “terrific colleagues all over the world,” and this translates not only into prime opportunities for enjoyable and fruitful collaboration, but also into a tightly knit network of support that helps propel each of us forward to tackle the problems ahead.
To thrive, we must move with the times; as such, to quote Caroline West, analytical chemistry is “a dynamic science that changes rapidly.” The perpetual progress in our field is highlighted by advances in instrument miniaturization, usability and portability, and the application of artificial intelligence and automation. Increasingly, instrumentation is moving away from labs and into the real world. What’s more, the continuous streamlining of the analytical process means that these increasingly portable technologies are providing data that can be interpreted and used in record time.
Of course, all of these endeavors feed into a single end goal (likely the reason we were drawn to science the first place): to understand our universe and improve lives. For analytical scientists, this mission can take many paths – medicine, agriculture, technology, space exploration, and many more – but, whichever direction we choose, we rarely have to walk alone, instead working within increasingly diverse, passionate and motivated teams. I’m sure Ljiljana Paša-Tolić isn’t the only one that would say they love “being part of this great community.”
Overall, there are many lessons to be learned from the Power List, but they can be simply summarized for the entire analytical community: we’re a busy bunch and we love what we do.