Many feats of science and technology hit the headlines during 2012. Which of these was the most impressive?
We were hard pressed to keep the options for our poll on the most impressive technological achievements of 2012 down to a manageable four, but the results of the poll were surprisingly close. The leading option, with 39 per cent of the vote, was NASA’s feat of landing the one-tonne Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars, using its innovative Skycrane lander and a nerve-wracking seven-minute descent sequence. Just behind on 34 per cent came the still-developing story of the discovery of the Higgs Boson by the teams at the Large Hadron Collider; as more data becomes available, the implications of this finding on our understanding of fundamental physics become ever more complex. Some 20 per cent of respondents opted for the more everyday but still impressive combination of civil engineering, electronics, telecommunications, infrastructure and other disciplines which contributed to the success of the London Olympics and Paralympics. Least popular option was the docking of the first commercially developed and operated space capsule at the International Space Station, with 7 per cent of the vote.
What science and technology achievement do you think deserves plaudits for the last year? And what are you keeping an eye on for 2013? Let us know below.