By my accounting, academic researchers were very important sources of R&D breakthroughs, together with researchers from other institutional spheres, in the following 12 inventions: ARAPANET (the forerunner of the Internet), fibre optics, high-yield rice, the mark-up language HTML, industrial robots, the laser beam, the MP3 player, the pacemaker, the personal computer, video games (yes, invented at MIT), and the World Wide Web.

Steven Brint, distinguished professor of sociology and public policy, on the role of academic researchers in the top 50 inventions from 1955 to 2005


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