Gravitational waves are invisible, fast-moving ripples in space that spread out just like when a stone is thrown into a pond. These waves are created when two bodies, such as a planet or a star orbit each other.

Although invisible, the waves were predicted to exist by Albert Einstein in 1916 as part of his famous theory of General Relativity. However, it was doubted by many that they could ever be detected, and by some that they even existed ... until Glasgow got involved.

I am thrilled to be writing regularly in the Evening Times. As chief executive of Glasgow Science Centre, I cannot wait to give you updates on everything going on at our five-star visitor attraction, as well as the latest developments in science and innovation in Scotland and the world.

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It has been an exciting week at Glasgow Science Centre where we hosted Scotland’s flagship innovation event aimed at businesses, the CAN DO Innovation Summit. One of the standout speakers from the event held positions at both the White House, Harvard Kennedy School and NASA. Jenn Gustetic told the Pacific Quay audience that she “can see unprecedented opportunities starting to emerge” for businesses in Scotland. This she said is in spite of big challenges such as an aging society and climate change. 

NASA has produced some of the greatest scientists and innovators the world has ever known and I think it speaks volumes that a senior figure from organisation that put a human on the Moon should come to Glasgow to deliver praise for the work being done here.

I am passionate about highlighting these science work and stories, that often goes unnoticed, happening right here in Scotland’s largest city.

That is one of the reasons why we created the Inspiring Innovation Award, with the University of Glasgow’s Professor Sir James Hough being the first person to receive the accolade in October for his role in the historic detection of gravitational waves.

The Inspiring Innovation Award acknowledges individuals or groups whose work in science, technology, engineering or mathematics shows all the qualities associated with innovation, such as perseverance, risk-taking, problem solving and creativity.

As a result of this, Professor Sir James Hough was given the award by Glasgow Science Centre just as much for the determination he showed to prove the doubters wrong as he was for the historical significance of his work. In fact, he was so confident of the discovery that he took a bet with a well-known bookie who offered odds as long as 500/1 for gravitational waves to be detected by 2010.

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 With so many exciting science and technology developments taking place in our city, there really is no better time for the science centre to launch its next exhibition. When Idea No59 opens in March, I’m sure it will inspire everyone, children and adults, to consider the future and their place in it as our society as it becomes transformed by technology.

The innovation minister, Ivan McKee rightly says that Scotland is known the world over as “a leader in innovation”, particularly for Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal and the creation of the first bionic hand. I truly believe there are young people growing up in Glasgow right now who could become the Bill Gates and Elon Musk of the not too distant future.

Stephen Breslin is the CEO of Glasgow Science Centre