If the resumes of the Science Talent Search (STS) finalists over the past 60 years are any indicator, winning a scientific prize early in one's career certainly can have a positive effect. Over a six-decade time span, STS--formerly called the Westinghouse Awards and now called the Intel Science Talent Search--has given out scholarships to more than 2,200 young researchers. Two have gone on to win Lasker Awards; nine have received MacArthur Fellowships; three the National Medal of Science; two the Fields Medal; and five have been bestowed with the Nobel Prize. Additionally, 31 are members of the National Academy of Sciences, and three have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

What is the personal and professional effect of winning prizes and awards, from STS scholarships for high school students to awards for early career investigators such as the W.M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research to...

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