Small Inventions That Made a Big Difference

Small Inventions That Made a Big Difference

Helen Pilcher


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Pockets, matches, spectacles, postage stamps.

Whether it's the stitches that hold our clothes together or the syringes that deliver life-saving vaccines, small things really do make a big difference. Yet these modest but essential components of everyday life are often overlooked.

Science and comedy writer Helen Pilcher shares the unexpected stories of 50 humble innovations - from the accidental soldering of two bits of metal that created the pacemaker, to the eighteenth-century sea captain whose ingenious invention paved the way for the filming of Star Wars - and celebrates the joy of the small yet mighty.


Helen Pilcher:

<p><b>Helen Pilcher</b> is a tea-drinking, biscuit-nibbling science and comedy writer with a PhD in Neuroscience. Her recent popular science book, <i>Life Changing – How Humans are Altering Life on Earth</i>, was shortlisted for the 2020 Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation. Her debut book, <i>Bring Back the King: the New Science of De-extinction</i>, was selected as a BBC Radio 2 Fact Not Fiction Book Choice. It was described by comedian Sara Pascoe as “science at its funniest”.</p>