In this issue, we focus on the scientist as entrepreneur, a career path precarious even in the best of times--and certainly perilous in the United States now that the nation has gone to war. In a variety of articles and opinion pieces in this issue, we assess and describe the current entrepreneurial climate. We also present an array of observations and examples that will assist our readers in determining who among them are best equipped to succeed in the effort to translate their scientific research into a profitable commercial endeavor.

While the views of our sources may differ on certain details, a consensus emerges: Before considering a move from the comparatively warm environment of his or her academic lab into the turbulence of the marketplace, the scientist entrepreneur today must be very well along in the process that transforms a bright idea into a viable, marketable product--much farther along than...

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