Our Scientific Method

When we first began discussing last spring who should be on our list of America's Best scientists and doctors, assistant managing editor Philip Elmer-DeWitt and his team pulled together more than 100 names in nearly as many specialties. That was the easy part. We then picked seven experts and asked them to help us winnow the list. That was the fun part.

Our panelists relished the task, in part because it gave them a chance to swap notes (and a little bit of gossip) on the contenders. It helped that they came from different disciplines: Thomas Cech, who heads the Howard...

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