Newton’s Principia has won the prestigious Cosmic Variance Greatest Paper contest, with Dirac’s theory of the electron coming in second. I’m still accepting nominations for the greatest physics experiment ever (probably until the weekend, when I’ll have time to do something with the list…).
Thinking about this, it occurs to me that this might be a good topic for some cross-ScienceBlogs discussion, if any of my co-bloggers are interested. I’ve got a decent idea of what the great experiments in physics are, but I’m pretty hazy on what would be considered the short list in the other fields we have represented.
We’ve got several bio-bloggers on board (Aetiology, Evolgen, Gene Expression, Living the Scientific Life, Pharyngula, and Stranger Fruit, by a rough count), and it’d be interesting to hear what they think is the most important experiment or observation in biology. Something by Darwin? Watson and Crick?
(It’s less clear to me what field I should be asking the others about. I suppose we could hit Dr. Freeride (Adventures in Ethics and Science) up for opinions about chemistry, and Kevin Vranes (No Se Nada Commentary) for geophysics, but I have no idea what to ask Ed Brayton (Dispatches from the Culture Wars) or Chris Mooney (The Intersection) about…)
I’d be interested to hea what the rest of the ScienceBlogs community thinks are the most important works in their own fields of interest. What’s the “greatest” experiment, observation, or paper in your field?