Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Greatest Innovation

The years I spent working in London and Brussels were very rewarding both professionally and personally so I must admit I miss my regular attendance at events like my friends at Spiked Online hosted today in London, England entitled, "What's the Greatest Innovation?" The full details for this event are noted at the end of this posting. As I reflected on this question I thought of several inventions that would be candidates for such an honor but I have to cast my vote for the -- WHEEL.

Yes, the wheel because of the impact it had globally by immediately making our world smaller - no longer did most people "be born and die in their home village" as was the rule of history. The wheel provided mobility for people, it moved goods, and it helped build empires. Wheels moved the Roman chariots which conquered the known world, wheels diversified our diets by allowing produce to be transported quickly enough to be consumed by new consumers, and wheels brought the pioneers to the American West to united the USA from "sea to shining sea".

I would be interested in knowing what my readers (yes both of you!!) feel is the "greatest innovation" -- other than my blog of course!! :-)

Innovate don't regulate,



The internet, the alphabet, the discovery of nuclear fusion, x-rays, the brick, rockets, the eraser: all of these have been identified as the greatest innovations in history in a new survey.
Over 100 key thinkers and experts from the fields of science, technology and medicine - including six Nobel laureates - participated in the spiked/Pfizer survey
'What's the Greatest Innovation?' (

Six participants in the survey will be sharing their views and debating the subject of innovation at a spiked/Pfizer event in central London on Wednesday 6 June.

Anjana Ahuja science columnist, The Times

Dr Ken Arnold Head of Public Programmes, Wellcome Trust

Professor Peter Cochrane co-founder of ConceptLabs, and former chief technologist at BT

Professor Marcus Du Sautoy professor of mathematics, Wadham College, Oxford

Sir Tim Hunt (FRS) principal scientist, Cancer Research UK; Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001 (shared with Lee Hartwell & Paul Nurse)

Dr David Roblin VP, Clinical R&D, Pfizer Global Research & Development


jdsqrd said...

I believe the lever is the most important. Can't vote without one.

Todd said...

I have re-thought my selection. Originally I said "the wheel" but now I am thinking I should say, "the book", since a book can promote ideas (such as "the wheel") without being reliant on innovations such as the wheel. But then of course instead of "the book" perhaps I should say, "the printing press" -- you get a sense of how complicated this concept is when you start thinking about it.