Noticed on the Beeb today that a £10,000,000 award based on the Longitude prize is being offered for anyone who comes up with a viable solution to one of today’s most pressing problems. Suggested problems include Food, Water, Flight and Antibiotics.

The original prize, offered as a result of the 1714 Longitude Act, was for a method of accurately determining the longitude of ships at sea. Although the prize was never officially awarded it was John Harrison who had the best claim with his series of chronometers. The H4 was the best and most practical of these, complete with diamond escapement pallets! It’s a fascinating story and well worth researching of you’re not already aware of the history. Here’s hoping the modern prize is won less contentiously.

John Harrison - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Biography: John Harrison and the Discovery of Longitude | Online Information Bank | Research Collections | Royal Naval Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Build tomorrow today | Longitude Prize 2014