The Scientist has a small staff and a modest operating budget. What we lack in size, however, we make up for in effort and enthusiasm, and I'd compare the talent on staff to any rival. That makes us kindred spirits with institutions in the US heartland that frequently appear among surveys of the Best Places to Work in Academia even though they aren't blue-chip East and West coast powerhouses. Like those institutions, we take satisfaction from the creation of something new and different and useful, providing what we call "serious entertainment" for our life science community.

Consider North and South Dakota, barely on the map in terms of science funding. In fact, certain individual scientists in blue-chip institutions have greater research resources at their fingertips than the entire Dakotan science community combined, as our Alison McCook found out when she visited the University of South Dakota and the University of...

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