The 10 Greatest Inventors of the Mid-20th Century 

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The 10 Greatest Inventors of the Mid-20th Century
EricMJones   4/24/2015 8:35:23 AM
These sorts of things always stir up controversy. Better to re-title the piece "10 Great Inventors of the Mid-20th Century". I'll buy that.

And of course, the categories need to be more sharply defined. The inventor of the polio vaccine gets my vote over the inventor of Legos!

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Critic   4/24/2015 9:51:15 AM
I recognize the Fuller name in connection with Buckminsterfullerene ("Bucky Balls") and the Buckyballs magnetic "toy" that was really cool, but taken off the market because some parents couldn't manage to prevent their toddlers from swallowing magnets.

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Jack Kilby
jaydhall   4/24/2015 9:54:08 AM
In 1995 there was a nationwide contest called, IIRC, 'American by design'. I was one of the winners. The prize was money, a flight to Yorba Linda CA, dinner at and private tour of Nixon's presidential library. Somewhat cool. Then a speech by a want to be politician. We were all like, yawn. Then, Jack Kilby greeted all of us as we walked on stage, shook our hand and talked a bit with us. We all had individual pictures taken with him and we ALL asked that we get copies. (Which never happened for me. Sigh)  This was more important to us (it seemed to me) than the cash prize or anything else. I only met him for a short time but he seemed like one of those rare people who was someone you wished lived next door. V

In reading this article, I revisited the 20 great engineers of the early 20th century article. Lee de Forest jostled my memory. I am an amateur radio operator and one of my fellow hams was Lee de Forest's engineering technician in the teens. (IIRC) He did tell some interesting stories about him.

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An unfortunate oversight
helixdpr   4/24/2015 10:20:30 AM
About 1/5th of the electrical energy generated in the U.S. today is from nuclear power. Standing on the shoulders of such researchers as Glenn Seaborg and Eugene Wigner, ALVIN WEINBERG invented the solid fuel light water nuclear reactors in wide use today, as well as his preferred design, the so-called Molten Salt Reactor. It only saw a brief life as the MSRE (Molten Salt Reactor Experiment) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) from 1965 to 1969 at which time the Nixon administration shut it down in favor of the light water design. He was eventually fired for his strong opinions regarding the sad direction that nuclear energy was heading, and the rest is history.

One could argue that the inventors highlighted in today's article all stand in the shadow of Weinberg with respect to their impact on civilization. His dream of a carbon-free world with reliable, cheap, abundant, clean, and most of all SAFE energy for all mankind is still within reach. What he invented so many decades ago has more relavance to the mounting problems of energy, pollution, climate change, poverty and regional conflict than ever before. He invented the answer to them all.

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Re: The 10 Greatest Inventors of the Mid-20th Century
chemionix   4/25/2015 5:09:01 AM
I totally agree with that. This is controversial topic where one is considered as great and the same is not for other.

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