Shaken but not disheartened by events 10 days prior, some of the world's leading biomedical scientists gathered in New York, Sept. 21, to honor scientific achievement at the 2001 Lasker Awards ceremony. As James Fordyce, chairman of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, welcomed attendees, he asked that they view the World Trade Center wreckage "as a reminder of the precious value of life" and that they "not be deterred" from the life-saving mission of research. Echoing these sentiments through the decorous Cotillion Room of the Pierre Hotel, ABC News co-anchor Dianne Sawyer offered, "Although the audacity of the skyscrapers has been obliterated, the audacity of the ability to soar has not."

For the soaring ability of five men--three who developed arguably the most useful tool for studying human disease; one who launched a new era of infertility treatment; and another whose diligence stamped out smallpox and changed the...

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