From Crick and Watson through J. Craig Venter, we had all our eggs in one basket — molecular biology, gene mapping, whatever you want to call it. It failed. And now we're counting on this guy.
Published in our April issue, on sale soon
There may be another scientist in the world as smart as Eric Schadt. After all, scientists are a pretty smart lot, even though you'd be surprised at how few want to change the world, and how many of them have the trudging souls of brilliant, dutiful clerks. There may even be another scientist in the world as popular, as in demand as Eric Schadt, even though Eric works hard at everything he does, including his popularity, and is engaged, at any given time, in at least ten collaborations with other top scientists, not to mention the production — just last year — of a profligate thirty-five scientific papers, not to mention the delivery, year in and year out, of about forty talks and presentations after receiving invitations to deliver two or three hundred. (You'd also be surprised by how social a lot of scientists are, and how many parties they go to.) But if you're looking for a scientist whose great popularity rests in tirelessly writing papers and delivering speeches whose implicit and sometimes explicit message to the most eminent minds in his field is that they're wrong, that they've failed, and that the best way for them to stop wasting their lives is to follow him in a scientific revolution that he admits might not even work: Well, then you'd probably have to narrow your search a little bit. It takes a pretty smart guy to tell the smartest people in the world that all their success, all their hard-won knowledge has led them to a dead end ... that the approach they've taken has been a little, um, simplistic. It takes Eric Schadt to say that — and then to make the damned sale.