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100 Greatest Discoveries

What are the most important scientific discoveries of all time? The answer might include Copernicus's idea that the sun is at the center of the solar system, Newton's laws of motion, Mendeleev's periodic table of elements, Einstein's theory of relativity and Darwin's theory of evolution. There are numerous great scientific discoveries that have significantly influenced the way we think and live throughout history.

100 Greatest Discoveries presented by Bill Nye recounts the 100 most important scientific discoveries of all time and explains them with historical re-creations, archival footage and interviews with scientists. It consists of nine episodes, and the first eight episodes explores the 100 important discoveries in the fields of science and medicine: astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, evolution, genetics, medicine, and physics. The last episode is about the top 10 discoveries of all time, picked up by people.

Here are the top 10 discoveries from the last episode:

1. Natural Selection
2. General Relativity
3. E = mc^2
4. Periodic Table of Elements
5. The Earth Moves
6. Laws of Inheritance
7. Germ Theory
8. Penicillin
9. Microorganisms
10. Newton's Laws of Motion

Top 10 Discoveries Chosen by Ordinary People


1. 100 Greatest Discoveries: Astronomy
This contains thirteen important discoveries in astronomy, including Copernican cosmology, Johannes Kepler's laws of planetary and Hubble's Law.

2. 100 Greatest Discoveries: Biology
This episode recounts thirteen important discoveries in biology, including Anton Van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of microorganisms, Robert Brown's identification of cell nuclei, and the discovery of Mitochondria.

3. 100 Greatest Discoveries: Chemistry
This episode recounts thirteen important discoveries in chemistry, including Joseph Priestly's discovery of oxygen, John Dalton's atomic theory, and Dmitry Mendeleev's discovery of periodic table of elements.

4. 100 Greatest Discoveries: Earth Science
This episode looks at twelve important discoveries in Earth science, including Richard Oldham's theory that the Earth has a core composed of liquid, Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift, and Global warming theory.

5. 100 Greatest Discoveries: Evolution
This episode shows ten important discoveries related to evolution, including K-T asteroid theory of dinosaur extinction and Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection.

6. 100 Greatest Discoveries: Genetics
This episode recounts thirteen important discoveries related to genetics, including Gregor Mendel's discovery of rules of heredity, James Watson and Francis Crick's discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule, and the recent discovery that humans have approximately 20,000 to 25,000 genes.

7. 100 Greatest Discoveries: Medicine
This episode shows thirteen important discoveries in medicine, including Andreas Vesalius's anatomical charts, Karl Landsteiner's identification of blood groups, and Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin.

8. 100 Greatest Discoveries: Physics
This episode recounts thirteen important discoveries in physics, including Galileo's law of falling bodies, Isaac Newton's laws of motion, and Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity.


Related Links
The Story of Science
This is a BBC science documentary series presented by Michael Mosley, exploring how the evolution of scientific understanding is intimately interwoven with society's historical path.
A Science Odyssey
This is a PBS documentary series hosted by Charles Osgood, exploring the sweeping changes that have revolutionized life and thinking in the twentieth century.
The Ascent of Man
This is a 1973 BBC documentary series written and presented by Jacob Bronowski, looking at human history through scientific and technological achievements from prehistoric era to the mid-20th century.