The National Inventors Hall of Fame: Aspiring Inventors Abound in America, According to New Poll
AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- This country is home to thousands upon thousands of aspiring Thomas Edisons, Henry Fords and Steve Wozniaks, judging from the results of a new national survey. A significant percentage of Americans -- 33 percent -- have aspired to be inventors or thought they had an idea that would make a good invention, according to the poll, sponsored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), based in Akron, Ohio. "This remarkable number, one-third of the U.S. population, reveals there definitely is a spirit of inventiveness in many of us," said David Fink, NIHF president and chief executive. "It reflects the enterprising and industrious attitude Americans are known for around the world." Interestingly, men (44 percent) are twice as more likely to have aspirations as inventors than women (22 percent). Another intriguing finding: Creativity and determination, not necessarily intelligence or education, are the most important qualities for an inventor, according to Americans. When asked to select the top three qualities most important to be a successful inventor, the majority of respondents named creativity (cited by 59 percent) and determination (51 percent). Cited by less than half of the respondents were common sense (45 percent), intelligence (44 percent), education or training (39 percent), patience (35 percent) and luck (18 percent). "These results reinforce our belief that people from all walks of life possess the imagination and skills to create or discover the next scientific, healthcare or lifestyle breakthrough," said Fink. "The 10 newest members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, to be inducted September 15, represent such a cross-section, as do the other 158 Hall members." Unlike these enshrined notables, what prevented inventor "wannabes" from fulfilling their dream? Some 21 percent stated lack of funding, 14 percent said they did not know where to go or what to do next with their idea, 11 percent cited lack of time and another 11 percent reported they lost interest. "For those that need guidance, the U.S. Patent Office can assist them," Fink said. The survey also asked Americans to select from a list the top three professions that have the greatest positive impact on the quality of life in the United States. Educators and teachers ranked first, cited by 73 percent. Ranked second were scientists and inventors, named by 55 percent of those surveyed. Next were doctors (46 percent), public safety leaders, such as police and fire officials (36 percent) and government leaders (23 percent). Ranked at 15 percent or below were journalists, entertainers, athletes and philanthropists. The poll, timed to help kick off the NIHF 2001 induction ceremony, was conducted by an independent research firm. It surveyed by telephone a national probability sample of 1,028 adults living in private households in the continental United States. Interviewing occurred August 24-27. The NIHF was founded in 1973 by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Associations to recognize the role of inventors and invention in our daily lives. The current museum facility opened in 1995 and has hosted more than 700,000 visitors. Inventors inducted into the Hall can be nominated by anyone. They must hold a U.S. patent and their invention must have contributed to the welfare of mankind and promoted the progress of science and the useful arts. On September 15, the NIHF will induct its 29th class of inventors. They include Robert L. Banks and John Paul Hogan (who invented crystalline polypropylene and the first low-pressure process for high density polyethylene-HDPE); Herbert Wayne Boyer and Stanley Norman Cohen (for genetic engineering); Oliver Evans (high-pressure steam engine); Thomas J. Fogarty (balloon embolectomy catheter); Elijah J. McCoy (automatic lubricator for machinery); Christopher Latham Sholes (the typewriter and QWERTY keyboard); and Patsy O'Connell Sherman and Samuel Smith (Scotchgard). MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54326480
SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame
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