Sure, we’re nearing the end of the first month of 2013, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to look back at last year’s scientific achievements. 2012 was a huge year for breakthroughs and findings, and as far as I can tell, nearly every single celebration is done for a past event, and is almost always commemorated on an infographic. Gettysburg Infographic anyone?
And so I present to you this image for “2012’s Biggest Moments in Science” as designed by someone at BestMastersPrograms.org, capturing seven of science’s most notable moments for the year. Granted, seven is an extremely limited number for such a subject populated with entries, but limitations have to come somewhere. Maybe if somebody could figure out the perfect number of items to put on an infographic, it’ll make the list in 2013.
Not that I have any complaints with anything included. The Higgs boson particle, often called the “God particle” by people who aren’t Richard Dawkins, has been just beyond discovery’s reach for 50 years, so this was a huge finding, and finally lays to rest how quarks and electrons get their mass. Albeit in a way that involves an invisible field that I don’t understand. The Mars Rover Curiosity is another milestone, already giving us more information about the big red planet than we’d ever had before. And it’s the only Robot Representation on the list. For more super-technical feats, the 50-mile teleportation of quantum particles and the genome sequencing of fetuses will certainly have a remarkable impact on the future, from quantum mechanics guiding how information travels to changing the looks and smarts of our unborn children.
Of course, climate change and exoplanets make the list. Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Northeastern U.S., causing billions of dollars in damage, and serves as a warning of what’s still to come from Mother Nature’s bitchy side. But hope for civilization finding life and perhaps sustainability on other planets was strengthened by findings of an Earth-sized planet circling Alpha Centauri B, and though this isn’t the most promising of the exoplanets, the search has widened, and the probability of the billion-planet theory is constantly being strengthened. Finally, the cost-effective desalination of salt water could make oceanic endeavors safer and would allow many countries to access cheaper fresh water where they could not before.
Nothing here is an end result. It is all progress, and 2013 will undoubtedly surpass these seven accomplishments, where they haven’t already. If anyone gets this infographic tattooed on their back, please send pics.