Here are 10 early-career scientists you should know about in 2023

This year's SN 10: Scientists to Watch are shaping our future and our understanding of ourselves

A composite of headshots of the 2023 scientists to watch

This year’s scientists are studying alien atmospheres, human evolution, photosynthesis and more.


How do we adapt to climate change? Can we fight back against Alzheimer’s disease? What will it take to build a more equitable society? The researchers on this year’s SN 10: Scientists to Watch list are tackling slices of these and other grand challenges.

For the eighth year, Science News is recognizing 10 early- and mid-career scientists who have innovative ideas and unique skill sets — and are applying their talents to shape our future and our understanding of ourselves. But they aren’t doing it alone. Each credits parents, mentors and colleagues with inspiring their success. Many emphasize the power of collaboration, the value of other perspectives and the importance of mentoring the next generation of scientists. Speaking of the future, if you know someone who belongs on the next SN 10 list, send their name, affiliation and a few sentences about their work to — Elizabeth Quill, Executive Editor

A photo of Daniel Blanco-Melo.
Courtesy of D. Blanco-Melo

Daniel Blanco-Melo

Daniel Blanco-Melo puzzles out how ancient pathogens have shaped human history and evolution.

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A photo of Róisín Commane standing in front of a DC-8 aircraft.
Erinn Springer

Róisín Commane

Róisín Commane sleuths out greenhouse gas leaks to fight climate change.

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A photo of Daphne Martschenko with a white background.
Magdalene College, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Daphne Martschenko

Daphne Martschenko is a champion for ethical, inclusive genomics research.

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A headshot of theoretical physicist Julian Muñoz against a brightly lit backdrop
Nolan Zunk/The University of Texas at Austin

Julian Muñoz

Julian Muñoz has a ‘ruler’ that could size up the early universe.

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A photo of Deblina Sarkar standing behind a table with a big microscope on it.
Jimmy Day, MIT Media Lab

Deblina Sarkar

Deblina Sarkar is building microscopic machines to enter our brains.

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A photo of Lauren Schroeder.
Blake Eligh/University of Toronto

Lauren Schroeder

Lauren Schroeder looks beyond natural selection to rethink human evolution.

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A photo of Quinton Smith looking at the camera and smiling.
Courtesy of Q. Smith

Quinton Smith

Quinton Smith builds lab-made organs with tools from Silicon Valley.

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Quantum astrochemist Clara Sousa-Silva stands in front of a blackboard, holding a molecular model in her hand.
Melanie Gonick

Clara Sousa-Silva

Clara Sousa-Silva seeks out signatures of life in alien atmospheres.

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Berkley Walker smiles and poses in front of a brick wall.
Emily Walker

Berkley Walker

Berkley Walker wants to revamp photosynthesis for a changing climate.

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A headshot of Marjorie Weber smiling in front of large plants
M. Weber

Marjorie Weber

Marjorie Weber explores plant-protecting ants and other wonders of evolution.

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