Close

This year has been so tough and the field of science has been put to the test more than ever. It is just right to acknowledge the people who have helped in various developments in science this 2020. Their role in science this year has played a crucial part in critical matters that involved the lives of millions of people.

Below are the top ten people outlined by Nature, highlighting key events of their contributions in science in 2020:

Adi Utarini

While the world is battling COVID-19, Adi Utarini and her team were focused on battling dengue fever. According to Nature, her team has reported a huge victory towards defeating the deadly infection by managing to cut the cases in parts of a large city in Indonesia by 77%. Her technology in beating dengue is considered the gold standard in clinical research.

Anthony Fauci

Dubbed as "Science's Defender" by an article in Nature, Fauci has more than 40 years of career as an infectious-disease researcher. He has been hailed a hero and at the same time as a murderer by some people. He has guided six US presidents in his career so far.

He became the nation's doctor as he offered guidance to the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and communicates to the public the latest update of the current outbreak. As the country has a new president, he has agreed to stay at NIAID and serve as the new administration's medical adviser.

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Chanda is a cosmologist pursuing the nature of the dark while addressing the growing concerns of racism in the field of science. Next year, she is set to receive an award from the American Physical Society for her work in cosmology and particle physics and for her efforts in working towards inclusivity in the field of physical science.

Gonzalo Moratorio

This famous virologist in Uruguay is hailed by countrymen for helping dodge the possible worst consequences of the pandemic in his country. Working as a virologist at the Pasteur Institute and the University of the Republic, he and his colleagues have designed a COVID-19 test and a national program of administering it that helped keep cases of the infection at bay as outbreaks start to sweep countries in Latin America.

Until now, Uruguay continues to record one of the world's lowest death rates with only 87 people by December 10.

Jacinda Ardern

The Prime Minister of New Zealand has received praise not only from her own country but also from people around the world. At a time of a worldwide crisis, Ardern has led her country with decisive action but with compassion. Through her leadership on the five million inhabitants of New Zealand, their country's COVID-19 case remains a rare success story in the pandemic.

New Zealand has now twice stamped the coronavirus outbreaks, limiting the cases to just over 2,000 and only 25 deaths recorded.

Kathrin Jansen

As Pfizer's Head of Vaccine Research and Development, she has managed to pull off one of history's lightning speed vaccine development against COVID-19. This record-setting effort showed that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in people. In total, she and her team managed to develop the vaccine in just 210 days which started in April (testing) until the completion of phase III in November.

ALSO READ: Fauci: Any Coronavirus Vaccine Would Only Give 'Finite Protection'

Li Lan Juan

This 73-year-old epidemiologist at Zhejiang University was sent to Wuhan when the outbreaks first started. She ordered the immediate lockdown of Wuhan to control the spread of the virus. Together with respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan, who announced that the virus could spread between humans, their warnings have helped prompt decisive actions.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The World Health Organization director-general has won over several public health researchers and practitioners with his approachability, empathy, and hard work. The COVID-19 pandemic has tested his leadership, receiving unsubstantiated criticisms of being biased, and exposing WHO's vulnerabilities as an institution.

He had to navigate the treacherous political waters while staying focused on the COVID-19 "endgame" to ensure that all nations receive the vaccines.

Verena Mohaupt

This logistics coordinator joined the largest research expedition in history, known as the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC). It was her job to serve as the group's lookout for bears. While she and her colleagues were trapped in a sheet of floating ice, a bear gazed at them, sniffing the air. One of her colleagues fired a warning while Mohaupt immediately radioed their research vessel which was only kilometers away from them. Luckily, a helicopter arrived quickly so Mohaupt did not have to use her rifle against the bear.

Zhang Yongzhen

When Yongzhen agreed to share the genome of the virus causing the mysterious outbreak in Wuhan, China it showed the whole world that this was a novel coronavirus, similar to the 2003 outbreak. It was an important day as he and his colleagues posted the RNA sequence of the coronavirus before anyone else, informing the whole world of this deadly virus.

READ MORE: Do's and Don'ts After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine

Check out more news and information on Health & Medicine in Science Times.