1997 in science
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Astronomy and space exploration
- January 17 – Explosion of a Delta II rocket carrying a military GPS payload shortly after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.
- February 13 – Tune-up and repair work on the Hubble Space Telescope is started by astronauts from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
- February 27 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.
- March 8 – Complete solar eclipse.
- March 24 – Partial lunar eclipse.
- July 4 – Mars Pathfinder lands on the surface of Mars.
- August 25 – Launch of Explorer 71 of the Explorer program of spacecraft.
- September 2 – Partial solar eclipse.
- September – Total lunar eclipse.
- October 15 – Launch of Cassini Spacecraft to Saturn
- October 30 – First successful test flight of the ESA's Ariane 5 expendable launch system.
- February 22 – In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that an adult sheep named Dolly has been successfully cloned and was born in July 1996
- March 4 – United States President Bill Clinton bars federal funding for any research on human cloning
- April 25 – Scientists announce that Human artificial chromosomes have been created.
- July 10 – In London, scientists report their DNA analysis findings from a Neandertal skeleton which support the out of Africa theory of human evolution placing an "African Eve" at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago
- November 6 – The discovery of KLOTHO is reported, a gene involved in human aging.
- November 19 – In Des Moines, Iowa, Bobbi McCaughey gives birth to septuplets in the second known case where all seven babies are born alive, and the first in which all survive infancy.
- May 11 – IBM's Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov, the first time a computer defeats a chess grand master in a match. Deep Blue has defeated Kasparov before, but has never previously won a match against him.
- September 15 – The domain name for the web search engine Google is registered.
- October – First Grand Theft Auto video game launched.
- May 10 – The 7.3 Mw Qayen earthquake shakes eastern Iran with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). At least were 1,567 killed and 2,300 were injured.
- Megalosaurus and Cetiosaurus footprints are identified at Ardley, Oxfordshire, by Christopher Jackson.
- October 15 – The first supersonic land speed record is set by the ThrustSSC team from the United Kingdom.
- November 23 – "Lisa the Skeptic" first broadcast as an episode of The Simpsons in the United States.
- Nobel Prizes
- Turing Award – Douglas Engelbart
- Wollaston Medal for Geology – Douglas James Shearman
- January 8 – Melvin Calvin (b. 1911), American chemist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
- January 15 – Kenneth V. Thimann (b. 1904), English-American plant physiologist and microbiologist known for his studies of plant hormones.
- January 17 – Clyde Tombaugh (b. 1906), American astronomer, discoverer of Pluto.
- March 4 – Robert H. Dicke (b. 1916), American physicist.
- March 7 – Edward Mills Purcell (b. 1912), American physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- March 29 – Norman Pirie (b. 1907), British virologist.
- April 7 – Georgi Shonin (b. 1935), cosmonaut.
- April 12 – George Wald (b. 1906), scientist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- May 2 – John Carew Eccles (b. 1903), psychologist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- June 25 – Jacques-Yves Cousteau (b. 1910), oceanographer.
- July 4 – J. Z. Young (b. 1907), zoologist and neurophysiologist.
- August 4 – Jeanne Calment (b. 1875), oldest person in confirmed history.
- August 23 – Sir John Kendrew (b. 1917), molecular biologist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
- August 24 – Louis Essen (b. 1908), physicist, co-developer of the first practical atomic clock.
- October 23 – Helen Wright Greuter (b. 1914), historian of astronomy.
- September 4 – Hans Eysenck (b. 1916), psychologist.
- December 9 – Karl August Folkers (b. 1906), biochemist.
- December 17 – R. V. Jones (b. 1911), physicist, expert in electronic military defence.
- December 26 – Cahit Arf (b. 1910), Turkish mathematician.
- Waldman, Thomas A. (2003). "Immunotherapy: past, present and future" (PDF). Nature Medicine. 9 (3): 269–277. doi:10.1038/nm0303-269. PMID 12612576.
- Maldacena, Juan (1998). "The Large N limit of superconformal field theories and supergravity". Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics. 2: 231–252.