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April 12, 2006

Cell biologist bats .341 with 25 home runs

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 10:47 AM

OK, not really. But a trade group in Illinois has issued trading cards showcasing the state's top scientists.

"Collect 'em now and get an autograph," Jack Lavin, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce, said at the biotech industry's biggest convention, according to this Chicago Tribune article (registration required). "They'll be worth thousands once they win a Nobel!"

It's an innovative, if gimmicky, effort in the ongoing competition among the states to woo the life sciences industry. Traditional enticements include tax incentives and cash for research, like the $350 million Life Sciences Discovery Fund here in Washington, or giveaways of land and other resources in other states.

A new report issued at the convention, ending in Chicago today, details the incentives offered by all the states, though the Illinois trading cards aren't included.

The Tribune quoted scientist Peter Sutovsky, who's depicted on a card, asking, "How do you calculate a scientist's batting average?"

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Tricia Duryee
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Benjamin J. Romano
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