OCCUPATION: Genetic scientist, founder and former CEO of Celera Genomics
NUMBER OF TIME COVERS: 1
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES ON THE TIME 100: 1
PRO: Having led one of the two teams that raced to sequence the human genome in 2000, Venter now claims to have...ahem...created life i.e., synthesized a new chromosome, from scratch, for a previously nonexistent unicellular creature.
CON: Venter's detractors say he's brash, self-aggrandizing and reckless and do we really want a godlike temperament playing God?