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6 Aug 2018, 10:10

What's the best impact engineers, scientists or inventors have made?

Image source the BBC

Anyone watching the new series of The Big Life Fix on BBC? Love seeing what these modern engineers and inventors are up to, 

This got me thinking, what would I choose as the most significant and beneficial invention or development for mankind.

Fire, the wheel, electricity or something else? It's quite a hard choice as some really beneficial things have relied on other things being invented or discovered prior to their own conception.

Ok, my choice is medical, vaccination and antibiotics, they have transformed life for the better I'm sure you'll agree. But think about this, without glass, lenses couldn't be made, without lenses, we wouldn't have microscopes and without microscopes, we would never have known about the micro-bacterial life in the first place. So in my choice, glass moves to the top invention.

It's an interesting question, so if you have time please feel free to provide your answer in the comments below. 

Link to The Big Life Fix

Favourite things are Family, Music and Judo. Also, I have the ability to retain and quote useless facts, something that pleases me but can annoy others. My engineering hero - Isambard Kingdom Brunel

6 Aug 2018, 10:10


August 11, 2018 17:56

If you are talking about the most significant invention/development, then mathematics is the sine qua non of engineering. More specifically, the idea that the world (dimensions, forces, actions etc.) can be represented abstractly and then manipulated in that form to allow you to create something (in the abstract) that has not existed before and then go out and build it with reasonable certainty that it will work as intended.

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August 7, 2018 14:43

The Large Hadron Collider still blows my mind every time I sit and think about it.

August 6, 2018 09:55

With you on the impact of medical innovations, Greig, and glass — excellent choice. There'd also have been a whole lot of people bumping into things without it!

As for an original answer, I'd have to say modern chemistry. Mendeleev creating the periodic table of elements, along with others around that time and in the previous century, that marked the progression from alchemy to chemistry.

August 6, 2018 09:55

I would have to say the creation of the Internet Protocol suite (TCP/IP) which is credited to Vint Cerf & Bob Kahn. This formed the conceptual model of the Internet and led to the world becoming a more connected place than before.
More importantly, the first printing press by Gutenberg in 1440 allowed us to mass produce & disseminate human knowledge across Europe and later, to the rest of the world.

August 6, 2018 10:08

I think as a sheer feat of engineering, Concorde must be up there. A collaboration between two English and French companies, this was at a time with no CAD or electronic communication yet they were able to build an aircraft that flew for almost 30 years and provided supersonic flight to the public, agreed the very rich public.