I read an interesting piece of research today from IBM.  IBM is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary, and surveyed 1000 Australians of all ages to find out their views on the most significant breakthroughs of the last 100 years.

No great surprise that the Internet featured highly, 25% chose it as the most infuential science and technology breakthrough in 100 years.  Those young and naive Gen Y’s placed it right up the top.

However, across the entire survey, the Internet didn’t take the cake.  Nor did the hills hoist or Victa mower.

No, rightfully so, Disease prevention, public health and modern medicine was the top ranked – with 36% rating it as most significant.

I don’t think that’s all that surprising, but what it does tell us is the amount in which the youth of today take the developments and advances of generations before us.  Things like general disease prevention and treatment like antibiotics, and the eradication of such things as SmallPox are things that we take for granted today.

So it will be interesting to see how things like this progress in the decades ahead.  The Internet as a concept will continue to revolutionalise our lives, but is it more important than those developments that came before?

A very interesting dinner table conversation!

And a simple question from IBM – What breakthroughs would you like to see in the next 100 years? Cast your vote at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/au/en/pressrelease/34548.wss

If you’re into innovation and history – check out the IBM ‘Icons of Progress’ list at http://www.ibm.com/ibm100/us/en/icons/