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 story : How We Chose the 2021 TIME100 #WorldNEWS The year I started in journalism, 1992, was “the end of history” or so claimed a famous book by that title with a remarkably sunny view of human

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How We Chose the 2021 TIME100 #WorldNEWS
The year I started in journalism, 1992, was “the end of history” or so claimed a famous book by that title with a remarkably sunny view of human progress. Today—as I near my 30th year in this business, and as the many crises of 2020 hurtle toward 2022—it’s clear that we are still very much living history. But I find reason for optimism, as I hope you will, in our 18th annual TIME100 list of the world’s most influential people. It features extraordinary leaders from around the world working to build a better future, from entertainers striving to make Hollywood more inclusive to activists fighting for sustainability and human rights.
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“Springing into action is not the easy choice,” chef and humanitarian José Andrés, a two-time TIME100 honoree, writes in his tribute to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Their actions this year not only prompted deep re-appraisals of British society and the monarchy’s place within it, but have also catalyzed essential conversations on topics from mental health to misinformation. Our cover portrait, taken by Pari Dukovic, marks the first time the world-famous couple has formally posed together for a magazine cover shoot. “It captures their powerful dynamic as equal partners,” says Dilys Ng, who has photo-edited our TIME100 covers for the past four years.
This instinct to “run toward the struggle,” as Andrés puts it, is characteristic of nearly everyone on this year’s list, though of course results may vary depending on whom you ask. They are disrupters, fixers, doers, iconoclasts, problemsolvers—people who in a year of crisis have leaped into the fray. And nowhere more so than in the realm of science, where advances in vaccines have put a deadly pandemic on defense, even as millions continue to aid and abet the virus by refusing them and as the global community struggles to distribute them as broadly and as desperately needed. As biochemist and Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna writes, all of us who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines owe an enormous debt to Hungarian scientist Katalin Kariko, who spent decades defying skeptics in dogged pursuit of mRNA as a tool to fight disease.
Science won another crucial victory in the climate arena. The work of European scientists Friederike Otto and Geert Jan vanOldenborgh has made it possible for the first time to determine almost immediately the role that global warming plays in extreme weather—meaning, as environmentalist Bill McKibben puts it, that “people reading about our accelerating string of disasters increasingly get the most important information of all: it’s coming from us.


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