The Top 20 Scientific Breakthroughs in History

Instead of the usual list of what many scientists agree on, this list will choose the scientific breakthroughs that are relevant to us in the 21st century. For example, the Gutenberg printing press is often listed as one of history’s great inventions, but who uses paper on a regular basis anymore? The truth is, we only use paper if we have to these days. So the breakthroughs that have seen their best days have been left off.

There are likely to be a few that you never heard of before (Nitrogen fixation, really?) and some that are so common in your life you never give them a second thought – or a first thought for that matter. What qualifies a breakthrough to make this list is assessing how the average person’s life would be different without it. You will occasionally see the word “invention” used in the summaries, and can be used interchangeably.

The list is in no particular order. You are at liberty to rank them according to your lifestyle.

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