That's actually a really interesting question. I'm going to take the risk of generalizing my answer because to me it's really fundamental to understanding that inventions lag the innovations sometimes by decades. The double helix was actually discovered in 1953. It was 75 years before we actually pulled together the knowledge that we gained from that information into industries that I think will revolutionize health care in the coming decades.
As I said, I'm not deeply knowledgeable about what happened in the fifties around the nuclear industry, but we see the same issue with the transistor, which was first discovered in the forties. The solid-state revolution, as we called it, was actually in the sixties, 20 years later. The creation of the first computers, the first XT computer landed on my desk in the early eighties.
So there is a lag, and the lag really depends on the types of technology, but there's also the issue that in fact it isn't one invention, it's actually the bringing together of many inventions that lead to new innovations. As I mentioned before in terms of the disruption of e-retail, it comes from the transistor, from the laser, from optical telecom, from analytics. There are a number of advances in our knowledge that have come together.
I wanted to address what you were asking about in terms of skilling, because it is true that in many cases disruptions lead to significant economic changes, which require a re-skilling of our workforce. I was having a conversation with one of my provincial colleagues recently where I asked the question, “What are we doing right now about the likelihood that in 20 or 30 years factories may not employ very many people, or if they do they won't clearly have the same skills that people have today who are working?” I think we need to get ahead of that. I think we need to not just think about invention and technologies leading to innovations, but in fact we should be thinking holistically about what we are doing about re-skilling our workforces. What are the types of skills they'll need?
I won't go on too much longer, but only to say there's always a lag between invention and innovation. If the innovations are truly disruptive, it often means that in fact we need a re-skilled workforce in order to really take advantage of it.