Museum asks: what's the greatest science invention?

Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:24am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The Science Museum in London is displaying models of what it feels are the 10 greatest scientific inventions in human history to mark its centenary on June 22.

It chose the steam engine, the X-ray machine, the electric telegraph, the DNA double helix, Stephenson's Rocket train, the Apollo 10 rocket capsule, the Model T Ford car and the Pilot ACE computer among its best objects.

The V2 German rocket engine and penicillin made up the top 10.

"We have selected these 10 objects because they are hugely significant in world history and (because of) the impact they had on how we live our lives today," said the museum's chief curator Tim Boon.

The public will be asked to vote for their favorites during the Summer.

Trevor Baylis, inventor of the wind-up radio, said he would vote for the V2 rocket engine.

"It's one of the greatest achievements of our time because it led to space exploration, and then satellite development, which then led to mobile phones and the astounding communication services we enjoy today," he said.

Nitin Sawhney, a British musician, backs penicillin.

"As an asthmatic recovering from a debilitating bout of pneumonia, I am painfully aware of how important a role penicillin has played in curing my lung infection," he said.

Members of the public can cast their vote by going to the museum in South Kensington or visiting its website:

(Reporting by Phakamisa Ndzamela; Editing by Steve Addison)

<p>Ford Motor built 1909 Model T's sit outside Ford World headquarter in Dearborn, Michigan September 5, 2008. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook</p>