Great British Innovation

Great British Innovation VoteGreat British Innovation Vote

The Great British Innovation Vote was a public vote to discover the nation's favourite invention or discovery, from an exciting selection of major British advances over the past century.

We asked nine Research Fellows to describe an innovation in their field and how it has influenced their research today. You can read these below.

Vote for your favourite

See all the innovations on the 
Great British Innovation Vote website.

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Dr Jamie Warner
University of Oxford

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Dr Heather Whalley
University of Edinburgh

Ocean floor spreading

Dr Hugh Tuffen
Lancaster University


Dr Christophe Corre
University of Warwick

Plate tectonics

Dr Tim Wright
University of Leeds

Splitting the atom

Dr Richard Massey
University of Durham

Stem cells

Dr Rachael Pearson
University College London

Universal machine

Dr Paulo Oliva
Queen Mary University of London

World Wide Web

Dr Chris Lintott
University of Oxford


The Great British Innovation Vote was a partnership with the Science MuseumBritish Science Association, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Royal Academy of Engineering, Engineering UK and the GREAT campaign.

More innovations

Our Sovereign Science exhibition featured innovations and discoveries relating to DNA, medicine, computing, carbon, the Earth and the Universe. Many of these are included in the Great British Innovation Vote.

You can also read about Frederick Gowland Hopkins OM FRS who discovered vitamins and Frank Brian Mercer OBE FRS who invented the Netlon process. Their work is featured in the poll, alongside that of many other Fellows of the Royal Society.

The Year of Science and Industry is a showcase of excellence in UK industrial science and aims to strengthen links between the Society, industry, academia and the public.