Scientific discoveries that defined 2011 and will shape the years to come
It is peculiarly difficult to compile a list of the most important scientific breakthroughs in a year. There is obviously some subjectivity and a lot of guesswork to the exercise. But for what it’s worth, here are some that extended the bounds of human knowledge in 2011, in no particular order.
Scientific breakthroughs combine insight, experiment, data-gathering, hypothesis, validation and theory in ways that can take years. Even after theory is established and lab demos, it can take an indeterminate time before useful applications are developed. So it is difficult to say how long it will be before some practical utility results from any of the above. Nevertheless, these are discoveries that could have huge impacts in the next five to 10 years.
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