AFP (11/5) reports, "The X-ray was on Wednesday named the most important modern scientific achievement in a poll conducted for the Science Museum" in London. The poll included "nearly 50,000 members of the public," who voted "on 10 of the greatest achievements in science, technology, and engineering selected by the museum curators."
"Penicillin came second, followed by the DNA double helix, the Apollo 10 capsule, the V2 rocket engine, Stephenson's Rocket, the Pilot ACE (one of the first computers), the steam engine, the Model T Ford motor car, and the electric telegraph," the
UK's Telegraph (11/4, Bloxham) reported.
According to BBC News (11/4), "the particular X-ray machine in question — the Reynolds machine in the Museum's Making the Modern World Gallery — was a 'do-it-yourself' experiment by a father and son who were so inspired by news of the discovery of the X-ray that they set about building the equipment in their own home."
CNN (11/4, Kermeliotis) reported that Katie Maggs, associate curator of medicine at the Science Museum, "attributed the X-ray machine's popularity to the wide impact it has on people's everyday life, from the very first steps of a medical diagnosis to security control at airports."
Where will digital pathology rank in years to come in future polls? I would argue that image analysis will appear on the short list of "most important scientific achievements" in the future. The simple reason for this is that image analysis will create opportunities in medicine and data analysis the likes of which we have never seen and bridge a gap between morphology and molecular techniques.