On 11 February, researchers announced that they had finally sensed the ripples in the structure of space-time known as gravitational waves — capping a decades-long quest.
A tumultuous US presidential campaign ended in a surprise victory for Republican businessman Donald Trump in November. Researchers struggled to understand how a Trump administration would treat science — in part, because it did not feature prominently on the campaign trail.
Representatives of a record 174 countries and the European Union gathered on Earth Day, 22 April, to sign the international climate agreement forged in Paris in December 2015.
In February, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that clusters of birth defects linked to outbreaks of Zika virus in Brazil constituted a global public-health emergency.
In January, a computer program beat a world-class human player at the ancient game of Go for the first time. But the ultimate showdown was in March, when the artificial intelligence (AI), called AlphaGo, trounced Lee Sedol — one of the world’s top players.
Source: Science Events of the Year