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Survey shows what New Zealanders think are the most significant breakthrough of the last 100 years

Posted on 24-May-2011 15:22 | Filed under: News

There are sharp differences between the genders’ opinions over the most significant innovation of the last 100 years, according to the IBM Centennial survey which polled more than 1000 New Zealanders to coincide with the company’s 100th anniversary.

While 41% of females rate disease prevention and treatment as the most influential breakthrough of the last 100 years, only 22% of males rate it as the top breakthrough. Instead, 29% of males rate the Internet as the greatest science and technology breakthrough.

On average, 32% of all New Zealanders cited disease prevention and treatment as the most influential and 29% of people cited the Internet. Differences of gender opinion arise again when it comes to computing, the innovation ranked third in the study.

Of the total respondents, 14% marked computing as the most significant breakthrough, however, 19% of males rated it as influential compared with only 9% of females. At the bottom of the list and rated by fewer than 3% of people as the top breakthrough were television, space exploration, air travel and mass car production.

The IBM Centennial survey was conducted to coincide with IBM’s 100th anniversary and polled more than 1000 New Zealanders of mixed age, gender and location, on their views of most significant breakthroughs of the last 100 years in general, at work and personally.

Dougal Watt, Chief Technologist for IBM New Zealand says, “Healthcare and the Internet are both areas where science and innovation have contributed massive improvements to our personal and economic wellbeing, as individuals and as a country. The modern healthcare and networks that we take for granted today really result from 100 years worth of innovations, all building on each other.

“In the next 100 years we can expect to see innovations from the computer networking world making a huge difference to healthcare, by improving clinical collaboration and allowing more patient-centred care.

“These are critical areas that New Zealand government, businesses and academics are investing large amounts of research effort into, as does IBM globally.”