Anyhow, you can find an index of Science's articles on the top 10 (from the December 22 issue) here. (Access is free, though you will have to register at the site.)
Their choice for top breakthrough of 2006? It's the proof of the Poincaré conjecture. It is rather unusual for a development in mathematics to rate so much attention, but then this is no ordinary breakthrough. Something like this comes along in mathematics only every 10 or 20 years. It was written about on this blog here, here and here. (And in a few other articles besides, which you can find by searching the archives.)
Science's choices for runners-up were interesting too, of course. Among those are some that have been discussed here, such as macular degeneration (this), memory (this, this, and this), and small RNA (this). There's a steady stream of developments in the latter two areas, in particular, so stay tuned for more.
Just as interesting as the list of this year's breakthroughts were Science's list of areas to watch in 2007. Prominent in this list are the areas of planetary science (both our own solar system and others) and genome mapping and comparison.
It's also interesting to note areas that are not on the list, for either this year or next. Where, for instance, are topics in cosmology, astrophysics, and extragalactic astromomy – such as dark matter, dark energy, black holes, the cosmic microwave background, and gamma-ray bursts? Some very fundamental results have been obtained this year, with more surely to come in 2007. They've been discussed extensively here – search the archives for plenty of examples. Just goes to show how much has to be left out of a "top 10" list.
Maths solution tops science class – from the BBC
Labels: general science
Links to this post: