BBC Future

2013: People of the year

  • Shooting star
    Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield performs his cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the International Space Station (ISS) in May; it made him a global star. (Nasa/Reuters)
  • Super source
    NSA contractor Edward Snowden was revealed as the source of leaks showing the extent of US monitoring of internet and phone records. He then fled to Russia. (AFP/The Guardian)
  • Nobel pursuit
    The Physics Nobel Prize went to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert for the Higgs boson, leading many to bemoan the absence of others who contributed to the research. (Getty Images)
  • Voice of power
    Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg provoked new debate on feminism in the workplace with her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. (Getty Images)
  • Shock doctrine
    Inventor Elon Musk – the man behind SpaceX – outlined plans for the revolutionary Hyperloop, but also faced fluctuating share prices at Tesla Motors. (Reuters)
  • Rolling in it
    Cryptocurrency Bitcoin created its first billionaire – inventor and still-unidentified developer(s), Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin’s value rose massively in 2013. (Thinkstock/Getty)
  • Prints harming?
    Cody Wilson was the year’s most infamous inventor, creating a fireable 3D-printable gun – and vowing to make the gun’s plans freely available online. (BBC)
  • Gene genie
    Fred Sanger, who helped to work out how to sequence DNA and paved the way for the modern genetics revolution died at the age of 95.
  • Billion-dollar missions
    Henry Markram (r) and Jari Kinaret (l) got €1 billion each from EU commissioner Neelie Kroes (c) to model human brains on a computer, and develop graphene, respectively. (Getty)
  • New Who
    It was a good year for Doctor Who fans: the TV programme celebated its 50th anniversary; and Peter Capaldi became the latest incarnation of the Time Lord. (AFP/Getty Images)
Astronauts, pioneers, whistleblowers and, oh yes, some person called Higgs, we salute those who were on everyone's lips in 2013.

More amazing image galleries of the year:

The year in transport

The year in space

The year in design and architecture

The year in wildlife

The year in weather

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