"Men are only so good as their technical developments allow them to be."

--George Orwell,
Inside the Whale and Other Essays, 1940

There are numerous awards and prizes for scientific achievement, and rightly so. Today's researchers are heavily dependent on sophisticated laboratory equipment, specialized software, and electronic access to databases. Orwell's maxim has never been so relevant. Yet recognizing excellence in the provision of these services has been remarkably lacking.

That omission is corrected today with The Scientist Readers' Choice Awards. Over a span of six weeks, researchers who visited The Scientist's Web site were invited to vote for their favorite lab equipment, software package, kit provider, Web site, technical support, design, and gadget. The result: An inventory, which can be found on page 45, of outstanding products and services from sagacious companies and organizations. The awards will be presented at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting...

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