Are you familiar with the major scientific discoveries of the past few years?
Today, 10th November, is the World Science Day for Peace and Development.
This Day has been introduced by UNESCO in 2001 and it is celebrated worldwide with the aim of promoting the responsible use of science and highlighting its major contribution to society.
This Day has the purpose to inform all citizens on the progresses reached in the scientific field, filling the gap between society and science.
The global pandemic Covid-19 showed how vital science is in dealing with global challenges, for this reason this year topic of the day will be “Science for and with Society”.
Let’s discover together some of the major scientific discoveries that, perhaps, you missed:
- Gravitational wave. Albert Einstein assumed its existence in 1916, and its discovery has been announced in 2016 (even if it has been discovered in 2015). Its existence, in addition to prove one more time how genius Einstein was, represents a great news in modern astrophysics, that earned a fresh way of studying and understanding universe. In fact, gravitational wave existence makes some phenomena, such as clash between black holes or between neutron stars, more comprehensible.
- And precisely in April 2019, the first direct image of a black hole has been taken, defined by many as the “photo of the century”. The image has been taken with the interferometry technique and thanks to 8 synchronized radio telescopes all over the globe. Einstein was right once again, and this photo confirm the relativity theory of the brilliant scientist.
- Quantum Supremacy. A quantum computer hypothesis, a computer able to work with basic memory units based on “quantum bit” and not traditional, dates to the ‘80s. Only between September and October 2019 it has become reality. Google announced to have reached the “quantum supremacy”, which is the capability of quickly solving a problem that traditional computers cannot solve in reasonable time.
- Gene therapy used in treating leukaemia In the past decade genetic engineering made huge progress and it has been medically used to cure leukaemia. It has been “thought” to immune system cells of leukemic people to recognize and attack tumour cells, to destroy them. In Italy, in 2018, this method has been used in treating a 4 years old child with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
- Instagram. It may not seem a scientific innovation but just a simple social network, but Instagram has changed the everyday life of a large proportion of world population. This app has modified how people communicate, highlighting images instead of text, creating new jobs and changing already-existing ones.
- Il Bosone di Higgs o “particella di Dio”. Teorizzata agli inizi degli anni ’60 da Peter Higgs (premio Nobel per la fisica), l’esistenza di questa particella elementare è stata dimostrata nel 2012. Rilevato tramite gli esperimenti condotti all’LHC (Large Hadron Collider) del Cern, questo bosone è responsabile dell’esistenza della massa di ogni cosa presente dell’Universo, si potrebbe quindi dire “ragione di vita” dell’Universo stesso.
These are just a few of the great scientific discoveries of the last ten years.
If you want to celebrate the World Science Day for Peace and Development 2020, UNESCO is having an online round table about “Science for and with Society in dealing with COVID-19”.
Discover more about it on the UNESCO web site.