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Time to embrace science – PR Week Post #23

December 1, 2009

(Click here for the original post on PR Week)

As with much in modern life, the pace of scientific research has risen markedly over the last 20 years.  Our paper, magazines and online news outlets are filled on a daily basis with new study findings.  Today it is ‘Can we use cannabis to treat alcoholism?’ and ‘Are grey hairs genetic or stress-induced?’.  With the exception of the major clinical studies (which clearly have a significant impact clinical practice or patient outcomes), most of what is published is merely informative and does little to change how we view things.

Today, however, we are given a real treat and a true reminder of how far the human race has come in the last three centuries…

To mark the Royal Society’s (the UK’s national academy of science) 350th anniversary, 60 of the most famous and influential papers (from the 60,000 published) have been catalogued in a searchable online tool (  To pick a few of my favourites: The first animal-to-animal blood transfusion was highlighted in a 1666 paper; the first electric battery was brought to our attention in 1800 and the development of penicillin written-up in 1940.

Let me know what stands out for you?