LONDON (AP) — Britain is offering 10 million pounds (almost $17 million) to whoever can solve one of humanity's biggest scientific challenges — once the public has decided what it is.
The Longitude Prize is inspired by a 1714 contest to find a way of pinpointing a ship's location at sea. John Harrison's winning invention, the marine chronometer, revolutionized navigation.
Organizers said May 19, 2014, the public would vote on which of six challenges the prize should tackle. They include
- reversing paralysis
- overcoming antibiotic resistance,
- mproving the lives of people with dementia
- providing food and clean water for all
- ensuring air travel is not environmentally harmful.
The chosen topic will be announced on June 25. The contest, overseen by Astronomer Royal Martin Rees and other scientists, will open for entries in September.
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