IN THE DIM AND DISTANT PAST (well, before we lost our Empire) Britain led the world in science and engineering. We invented the reflecting telescope, the steam engine, the glider, electric motor, the railway, the telephone, the steam turbine, the toothbrush... the list goes on. But in the last century, we Britons have rather let ourselves go – education isn’t what it used to be; our manufacturing industry has gone all Dodo on us; and we lost the ability to innovate.
But the thing is – we really didn’t. We might have lost our some of our sense of superiority, but we are still world leaders in science and engineering. To celebrate (and remind us) of this, the Science Museum (big list coming up), the GREAT Britain campaign, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, British Science Association, department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Engineering UK (told you) are inviting you to vote for the best British innovation of the last hundred years.
If you think the list might make for slim pickings, think again. Penicillin, TV, computing, the jet engine, the structure of DNA, DNA sequencing, Concorde, Cat’s eyes, the atomic clock and plate tectonics are just a few of the World-changing innovations on the list.