Not all awards are created equal. That's why the International Congress of Distinguished Awards (ICDA), a Philadelphia-based organization, published the Official Roster of Distinguished Awards, a directory of 116 prizes that the ICDA considered the best of their kind. It gave those awards its seal of approval based on uniqueness to a particular field, amount of cash prize, and professionalism of administration. (See Keeping up with awards is difficult, because most of the approximately 29,000 awards in existence have been created in the last 20 years. In addition, the world of awards has its own culture, quirks, and trends. Perhaps the biggest is the tendency for a relatively small group of scientists to collect multiple awards. As a companion to the roster, the organization next plans to document that trend by compiling a "Who's Who?" of distinguished awards. Larry E. Tise, ICDA president, a long-time observer...

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