1999 : WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INVENTION IN THE PAST TWO THOUSAND YEA

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Neuroscientist; Professor & Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, UC, San Diego; Author, The Tell-Tale Brain
professor of neurosciences and psychology and Director of the Brain Perception Laboratory

My personal favourite is the place value notation system combined with the use of a symbol 0 for Zero to denote a nonexistent number marks the birth of modern mathematics. I think this is the greatest invention but I am being a little jingoistic — it was invented in India in the 4th or 5th century BC , systematised by Aryabhatta in the 4th Century AD by the Indian Astronomer and then transmitted to the west via the Arabs. And Maths of course is essential for all science.