History of science 1950-2010

[Update: The trivia quiz mentioned in this blog post is now available on my website. You can also read my blog post about the party.]

I’ve been given a mission. Dad turns sixty in February, and I’ve been asked to assemble a trivia quiz on important events in science during his lifetime (he’s a geologist). Guests will be asked to match different events to the year in which it occurred.

Of course, most scientific advances don’t happen in a single year; they’re gradual. But enough do that one should be able to make a quiz out of them. I intend to cover a range of sciences from astronomy to palaeontology and beyond, and also a range of difficulties, though obviously you shouldn’t have to be a specialist to understand any of the questions.

I intend to get information from books and websites, but I think it’s important get it from a wide variety of different sources. With that in mind, I am hereby asking for your nominations. What are the discoveries and advances that you think should be included in the quiz?

Note: I will delete comments as they appear, and replace them with acknowledgements below, just in case this blog post is read by someone who might be there. If you prefer, you can email nominations to dragon@netyp.com.au.

Sincere thanks for your contribution.


  • Thanks to Joanna for a physics/technology nomination from the nineties.
  • Thanks to Andy Mac for a physics/technology nomination from circa 1960.
  • Thanks to Nigel Depledge for several nominations, mostly in molecular biology and space exploration.
  • Thanks to Julian Voss-Andreae for a physics nomination from the nineties.
  • Thanks also to a number of people who have made suggestions elsewhere on the Internet.

You are welcome to add your thoughts.

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