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Winner: Craig Venter

Craig Venter appears to have modelled himself on the popular conception of God: white beard, burly, piercing gaze, penchant for creating life. God called it into existence from the void, Venter rustled up an all-new bacterium in a petri-dish back in May. His single-celled organism even bears a genetic watermark to let everyone know who's to blame if the grey goo hits the fan. Outside chance of goo aside, Venter is looking to use his power for good (not that he would object to some potentially stupendous profits). He believes that synthetic organisms - fuelling cars or sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere - will play a decisive role in tackling climate change.

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