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You Didn't Win A Genius Grant, But You Can Nominate A Genius Of Your Own

by JJ Sutherland
Sep 28, 2010

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Yes, it's that time of year again, and no, your phone did not ring, once more the cold, cruel world has failed to recognize your genius.

And then you look at the list of the official MacArthur Genius grant winners this year and realize that your poor, sad life really does not stack up.

They include a Marine biologist who uses audio technology to answer unanswered questions about the structure and behavior of food chains, a stone carver preserving centuries old techniques, an anthropologist studying New Orleans, oh, and David Simon, the creator of "The Wire" and "Treme" on HBO. Here's an interview on Morning Edition with one winner, a historian studying the descendants of Thomas Jefferson and the slave Sally Hemings.

Part of the allure of the MacArthur awards is that you can't apply, you have to be nominated and then a secret panel picks the winner. So here's my question to you all, whom would you nominate as a genius this year, and why? Keep in mind the MacArthur guidelines:

Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person's originality, insight, and potential.

After we have the nominations, I'll put up the finalists, and then you all can vote on it.

(And yes I know they're not officially called genius grants, but everyone does and sometimes you just have to bow to popular will, plus its more fun.)

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