The 12 Days of Xconomists: Leading Innovators Give Their Top Advances of the Past Decade

1/5/10Follow @gthuang

Over the last few weeks, as the holiday season heated up and the decade wound down, we reached out to our distinguished network of Xconomists—who include many of the top technologists, scientists, and business innovators in our three cities—and asked them (and a few more tech and life sciences leaders) to describe the most important innovations of the past 10 years in their respective fields.

We figured we’d get two or three who could take time out during this busy season to write for us, but we were wrong. The response was staggering. We received so many thoughtful posts about the last decade (more than a dozen) that we’ve only just begun to look forward and process their responses to the other question we asked—about the biggest advances they think will come in the next decade.

Beginning today, with Boston Xconomist Michael Greeley’s Venture Capital Oscars piece about the films that best represent the economic and investment climate of the next few years, we will be running a series of posts about the coming decade. But before we dive deeply into those, we thought it would be useful to take a minute—pause—and actually think some more about what these experts have told us so far. So here is a rundown of 12 Xconomist Forum reflections on the 2000s, noughties, or whatever you want to call them:

Top Five Robotics Hits of the 2000s (Rod Brooks)
Highlight: “Thousands of remotely piloted and autonomous aircraft in the U.S. military.”

Top Five Biotech Innovations of the 2000s (Jay Lichter)
Highlight: “Genentech’s ranibizumab (Lucentis)—The first treatment of its kind for the ‘wet’ form of macular degeneration.”

Top Five Global Health Innovations of the 2000s (Christopher Elias)
Highlight: “New recombinant, platform-based [vaccine] technologies may greatly speed vaccine production, decrease manufacturing costs, and increase production in developing countries.”

Top Five Medical Innovations of the 2000s, and One Big Concern (James Topper)
Highlight: “The development of novel mechanisms and combination therapies in HIV, which have turned a universally fatal disease into a chronic one.”

Four Groundbreaking Innovations from the 2000s, and One More Life-Changing Event (Chad Waite)
Highlight: “A night that I was in NYC (home of the ENEMY) in October 2004 when the Red Sox FINALLY won the World Series!” (OK, also the iPod. And Facebook.) … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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