American Council advisor, and infectious disease expert Dr. David Shlaes has been writing a blog called “Antibiotics—the Perfect Storm” since 2009. Today, he features a guest blogger, Dr.Tamar Ghosh, who leads the Longitude Prize for the Innovation Lab at Nesta, a charity that is devoted to increasing the innovation capacity of the UK.
Dr. Ghosh writes about the biggest science prize in the UK:
“The Longitude Prize is the UK’s biggest science prize, a 5-year challenge with a £10 million prize fund, and a 300 year legacy. It commemorates the anniversary of the Longitude Act of 1714, the first British challenge prize, which offered the public £20,000 to solve one of the biggest global problems of the time, determining longitude at sea.
It was eventually solved when a little-known carpenter, John Harrison, invented the first marine chronometer, H4, surprising the establishment which expected a solution to come from the field of astronomy,. This early achievement demonstrated an early principle of prizes that we have seen time and again: if you create a public challenge, of reputation and profile, a far wider group of innovators are likely to get involved in finding solutions to the problem.”