COVID-19 vaccinations, cases, excess mortality, and much more
Explore our COVID-19 data

Research and development underpin nearly all of the transformative changes that we see on Our World in Data.

Cures for diseases, vaccines, and techniques to prevent infection have helped us survive beyond childhood, and live much longer lives. Understanding hygiene, water and sanitation have saved countless lives from preventable disease. 

Electricity, artificial light, transport, and other energy technologies have transformed the way we live. Agricultural research has broken deadlocks in crop yields, and allowed us to produce enough food for eight billion people.

Even beyond the long list of technological advances, research into effective political and economic systems, human rights, and social sciences have reshaped societies across the world.

More research is needed to address our largest problems – old and new. We will need innovations in clean energy to tackle climate change; in agriculture to feed a growing population; and developments in medical research to tackle existing and prevent new diseases. Research is also vital to address emerging risks such as artifical intelligence and nuclear weapons.

On this page you can find all of our data, visualizations, and writing on research, development and innovation.

Medical research and innovations

Interactive charts on Research and Development