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science columnist The Times


Sticking strictly to my field - the dissemination and discussion of scientific ideas - the innovation that has brought the greatest benefit to my working life is the internet and the blog. Here, I can access unfiltered, uncensored information about controversial issues - such as stem cell research, nanotechnology and genetic modification of organisms - to find out what people are really thinking and why they think it.

If, however, I were to consider the innovations that have brought the greatest benefit to me as a citizen, they are in the field of healthcare. Had I lived even 50 years ago, I would have died in childbirth. Sanitation, vaccination and modern surgery are all worth celebrating - thanks to enlightened medical pioneers, our lives are immeasurably better than those of our forebears.