My mother is fast approaching her 100th birthday, and she earned a BS degree in physics in her day. She still identifies, not as a scientist, but as a person whose world-view is shaped by science.
This evening, I asked her, “What do you consider to be the greatest scientific discovery of your lifetime?”
She was silent a long time. We discussed other things. We were both silent. She seemed to be asleep, then awake, then asleep. Then she said,
— What? Do you want desert?
“Didn’t you ask me what was the best invention ever?”
Inspired by her taking me seriously, I asked myself, “What do I consider to be the greatest scientific discovery of the last century?”
I have an answer, which I will link to. But first let me ask you, “What do you consider to be the greatest scientific discovery of the past century?”
Please answer in the comment section or just for your own reference before you click this link for my answer.