world changers!

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by ex-dvr, Oct 28, 2003.

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  1. had a conversation recently, and in a nutshell we tried to come up with names of individuals who have been acclaimed to have made world changing inventions/discoverories etc in the last 25 years or so, something on the lines of stephenson, newton , darwin etc.

    couldn't really think of one!
  2. How about Tim Berners-Lee, British of course, how invented the idea of the world wide web, and making a group of inter-connected networks into the working system we know today.

    I don't think that communication has been changed by just one man in the last 25 years.

    More info at:-
  3. District Judge A******* of Newcastle County Court discovered I am a cnut if that counts?
  4. Bill gates, love him or hate him...
  5. Shotgun.

    i do agree to a certain extent, but so rumour has it, he just stole all the ideas, he didn't do that much on his own.

    oracle. again agree to a certain extent, but i was looking for an individual name to put to dicoveries/inventions, they seem to be team efforts! and i know that all the rest in history are, it is just i don't seem to have any singular name stand out!

    could it be we have discovered everything and all the rest are just enhancements?
  6. Today, research in anything that makes a big difference is so expensive that it's only possible with the funds from big corporations, universities or governments.

    Individuals may have some brilliant ideas, but with out the backing of research teams they don't get far. The day if the backroom inventor changing the world may be a thing of the distant past.

    Having said that, I would just love to be proved wrong.
  7. How about Dyson, he certainly made a world of difference to my carpets.........I suspect there's loads of scientists beavering away in labs all over the place, making advances in medicine and things we never get to hear about.
  8. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Steve Jobs, inventor of the Apple Macintosh. It was the Mac's user interface that Gates copied in the dire Windoze.
  9. And Steve Jobs nicked the idea from work done at Xerox Parc..... a research center at MIT..... lots and lots has been stolen!
  10. wasnt there a film bout that whole bill gates nicking the idea off his mate thing?

    the git
  11. Silicon and microchips? Dunno who invented them.
  12. what about trevor bayliss didnt change much for us westerners but he created the wind up radio bringing the world service to the third world
  13. The great discoveries/scientific breakthrus are very few and far between these days. Science calls these a paradigm shift (nothing to do with operational phone cards :wink: ) i.e. a change from an existing way of thinking about something to a completely new way. For example Darwinism - annoyed the christian community but made people prick their ears up!!

    I suppose the mapping of the human Genome has been a milestone for science recently, but they have known how to do it for a long time - it just takes ages to accomplish!!
  14. You say great discoveries & scientific breakthroughs are few and far between these days, as if in the past they came thick and fast. In reality, the pace of scientific advancement has been getting faster every decade.

    We used spears and swords for thousands of years (the technology used in the battle of Agincourt in 1415 would not have looked unfamiliar to a Roman legionnaire, or even a Greek hoplite in 500 BC). It then took us less than 100 years to go from the cannon, to the intercontinental ballistic missile.

    The Wright Brothers first flew a mere 100 metres or so in 1903. sixty six years later, Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon. (In fact, if you want the name of the man who has helped to shape the 20th century, look no further than Wernher Von Braun, inventor of Hitler's V2 rockets and the father of the American space programme. Were it not for his pioneering rocketry work and vision, we might not have had the delights of intercontinental ballistic missiles, or more importantly orbiting communication satellites!).

    The greatest breakthroughs at the moment are in my opinion those related to biotechnology and genetic research. We may not have heard of many of the scientists who are beavering away, but in 50 years they will look back and know who had the breakthroughs that will radically alter the world.

    The next big change is also likely to be nanotechnology. If it lives up to it's promise, it will utterly change everything. The visionary thinkers who first grasped the potential were Richard Feynman (in his ground breaking lecture in 1959 called 'There's plenty of room at the bottom', in which he proved that there is more than enough room on a pin head to archive the entire sum of human knowledge to date) and K. Eric Drexler (in his book 'The Engines of Creation' published in 1989) who outlined the prospects for advanced molecular manufacturing and described potential staggering capabilities.

    And how can this list not include Stephen Hawking? No world changing inventions yet, but he has massively rolled back our understanding of cosmology and quantum theory. The applications of this knowledge may not become apparent for some time, just as the consequences of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity (1905) were not immediately apparent, but they led to the development of the Atom Bomb some forty years later.