Contributors: Mar. 29, 1999

Preparing a special issue of TIME like the one you're holding takes careful planning. The biggest problem, says PHILIP ELMER-DEWITT, the assistant managing editor who supervised the project, is the issue's sheer size. "I realized straight off that if I had to edit 92 pages all at once, I'd burst," he says. So he, deputy chief of reporters ANDREA DORFMAN, and TIME's science staff began working on it nearly a year ago; by last fall their list of the greatest minds of the century had been boiled down to a few dozen names. In November Elmer-DeWitt began handing out writing assignments.

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