The following is a list and timeline of innovations as well as inventions and discoveries that involved British people or the United Kingdom including predecessor states in the history of the formation of the United Kingdom. This list covers innovation and invention in the mechanical, electronic, and industrial fields, as well as medicine, military devices and theory, artistic and scientific discovery and innovation, and ideas in religion and ethics.
The scientific revolution in 17th century Europe stimulated innovation and discovery in Britain. Experimentation was considered central to innovation by groups such as the Royal Society, which was founded in 1660. The English patent system evolved from its medieval origins into a system that recognised intellectual property; this encouraged invention and spurred on the Industrial Revolution from the late 18th century. During the 19th century, innovation in Britain led to revolutionary changes in manufacturing, the development of factory systems, and growth of transportation by railway and steam ship that spread around the world. In the 20th century, Britain's rate of innovation, measured by patents registered, slowed in comparison to other leading economies.
The birth of the world's first "test tube baby" has been announced in Manchester (England). Louise Brown was born shortly before midnight in Oldham and District General Hospital
The 28-year-old, whose pioneering conception by in-vitro fertilisation made her famous around the world.. The fertility specialists Patrick Steptoe and Bob Edwards became the first to successfully carry out IVF by extracting an egg, impregnating it with sperm and planting the resulting embryo back into the mother
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he [Wilkins] proposed essentially what became ... the French decimal metric system