Something Neat XVI: The New Longitude Prize

His intended sea clock will require "regularity and performance as has not been seen before".

His intended sea clock will require “regularity and performance as has not been seen before”.

Clockmaker John Harrison won the Longitude Prize in 1765 by developing an accurate way to find a ship’s longitude.  Patrick Malahide dramatized his feat in the Horizon special Longitude (click for blog recap & gallery).  It is an excellent documentary, showing how improving navigation was essential to naval advancement and saving lives, and Mr. Malahide is ever so good in the dramatization portions.

What would be the modern equivalent of  a Longitude Prize?  There are a lot of problems facing the world, but which one is most important?  The BBC is going over that very question on a special episode of Horizon.

The choices are Flight, Water, Paralysis, Dementia, Food, and Antibiotics.  You can click here to vote on the official Longitude Prize committee website.

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