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Anjana Ahuja
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Philip Ball
Marlene Oscar Berman
Gustav VR Born
K Eric Drexler
Marcus Du Sautoy
Edmond H Fischer
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Wolfgang Ketterle
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Professor Nils-Axel Mörner
professor of paleogeophysics and geodynamics at Stockholm University
When Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543 put the Sun in the centre, a depressing ‘ruling model’ was killed after 1800 years, and science, thinking and innovation exploded.
Ken MacLeod
science fiction author
The greatest innovation in my field was the infodump, otherwise known as the expository lump...
Professor Peter Maitlis
emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Sheffield
The development of techniques for the structural elucidation of molecules, such as NMR, X-ray crystallography, neutron diffraction, etc.
Professor Benoit Mandelbrot
Battelle fellow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
In the case of fractal geometry, the greatest innovation occurred when my lifetime work extended the scope of quantitative science to include roughness.
Dr Robert Matthews
visiting reader in science, Aston University, Birmingham
The development of Bayesian statistical inference over the last 200 years.
Dr Jorge E Mayer
MIP TM attorney, manager Golden Rice Project
The development of the capability to introduce genes into plants across the species barrier.
Kevin McCullagh
director of the product strategy consultancy Plan
The mobile phone passed from executive status symbol to teenage fashion item to an economic enabler in the developing world within the span of 20 years.
Dr Christopher P McKay
planetary scientist at the NASA Ames Research Centre.
The rocket has taken humans to the Moon and some day it will take us to Mars.
Professor John McKean
professor of architecture, University of Brighton
The domestication of dairy and meat animals through their slow genetic selection and similarly the development of agricultural staples through breeding and systems of artificial irrigation. This allowed architecture and thus urban as well as non-urban, sedentary life.
Dr Patrick E McSharry
Royal Academy of Engineering research fellow at the University of Oxford
The computer enables scientists to undertake predictive, integrative systems-based modelling that has the potential to provide a better understanding of health and disease.
Chris Meade
director, Booktrust
Bookstart, established 1992, the amazing books for babies scheme which stimulates parental bonding and a love of books.
Neil Mellor
business development director, BT plc
The single most empowering innovation in my immediate field of work is probably the humble PC spreadsheet.
Dr James W Mold
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Imaging techniques like ultrasound, CT, and MRI.
Vivian Moses
emeritus professor of microbiology at Queen Mary College
The realisation that the Earth is a sphere. For perhaps the first time in history, people accepted, on the basis of evidence, the reality of something clearly counter-intuitive.
Professor Arno Mullbacher
leader, molecular immunology and virology, Australian National University
An orthopoxvirus, variola major, gave rise to immunology. Somewhere in Asia centuries ago someone must have made an extraordinary intellectual leap.
Jeremy Myerson
director, InnovationRCA
Hungarian journalist Laszlo Biro's invention of the first ballpoint pen in 1938 and British engineer George Carwardine's design of the first Anglepoise lamp five years earlier.
Dr Iain Nicholson
writer and lecturer in the fields of astronomy and space science.
The spectroscope transformed astronomy from the rather dry study of positions and brightness into astrophysics - the investigation of the physical nature and evolution of planets, stars, gas clouds and galaxies - and led directly to the discovery that the entire universe is expanding.
Dr John Oyston
Chief of anaesthesiology at The Scarborough Hospital, Ontario, Canada
In anaesthesiology, the pulse oximeter and the end-tide CO2 monitor.