Two whistleblowers who blew the cover off the Flint water crisis - Virginia Tech civil engineering professor Mark Edwards and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of Hurley Children’s Hospital's pediatric program - have made Time magazine's 2016 list of the world's 100 most influential people.
The new list, in the magazine's latest issue, cited Edwards' team for drawing attention to the lack of corrosion control - an important step in keep lead from leaching out of pipes - and Dr. Hanna-Attisha for generating proof that Flint children were poisoned.
Marc Edwards led a team of 17 Virginia Tech students and researchers who found major lead and bacteria contamination in 277 homes sampled in the fall of 2015. Associated Press photo.
The two were recognized in the category of pioneers. They are expected to attend the annual TIME 100 Gala that's being held Tuesday in New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. The event will include many other current and former TIME 100 members, as well as bring together the world’s leading figures in politics, technology, science, philanthropy, media, business, and entertainment.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said in her write-up about them for Time that the two bravely went up against "ignorance and indifference" of public officials.
"Flint is still a crime scene, but these two caring, tough researchers are the detectives who cracked the case," Maddow wrote.
Pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha hopes the recognition keeps the spotlight on Flint. THE BLADE/Katie Rausch
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) said the recognition "could not have gone to two more deserving individuals, and we’ll always remember the role they played in helping the children and families of Flint.”
According to Virginia Tech, Edwards headed a team of 17 Virginia Tech students and researchers who found major lead and bacteria contamination in 277 homes sampled in the fall of 2015.
Dr. Hanna-Attisha said she hopes the recognition keeps the spotlight on Flint.
TIME Editor Nancy Gibbs has said the list focuses not so much on power and past achievements but also "on figures whose influence is likely to grow, so we can look around the corner to see what is coming."