I nominate the concept of evidence-based medicine (EBM) as the greatest innovation in my field (clinical science). It may seem obvious that the practice of medicine should be based on evidence, but the definition of EBM as a discipline has forced researchers and practitioners to consider what evidence actually is. It is true that there are many medical interventions still used today for which evidence may be only anecdotal, or even largely absent, but the future belongs to EBM. The potential impact of EBM is wider than healthcare. Evidence-based medicine defines a rational approach to life that is based on controlled testing and verification, an approach that has major benefits for all forms of decision making (e.g. whether we should go to war, to take an extreme example).
Leslie Rose is the founder of Pharmavision Consulting and a consultant clinical scientist.