- Thomas Gold explains the recently discovered radio pulsars as rapidly rotating neutron stars; subsequent observations confirm the suggestion.
- April – First book printed completely using electronic composition, the United States edition of Andrew Garve's thriller The Long Short Cut.
- July 18 – The semiconductor chip company Intel is founded by Gordon E. Moore and Robert Noyce in Mountain View, California.
- December 9 – In what becomes retrospectively known as "The Mother of All Demos", Douglas Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute's Augmentation Research Center demonstrates for the first time the computer mouse, the video conference, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing, the dynamic linker and a collaborative real-time editor using NLS.
- January 2 – Dr. Christiaan Barnard performs the second successful human heart transplant, in South Africa, on Philip Blaiberg, who survives for nineteen months.
- November – Outbreak of acute gastroenteritis among schoolchildren in Norwalk, Ohio, caused by "Norwalk agent", the first identified norovirus.
- Publication of a Harvard committee report on irreversible coma establishes a paradigm for defining brain death. France becomes the first European country to adopt brain death as a legal definition (or indicator) of death.
- Doctors perform the first successful bone marrow transplant, to treat severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).
- DiGeorge syndrome is first described by pediatric endocrinologist Angelo DiGeorge.
- John Darley and Bibb Latané demonstrate the bystander effect.
- Walter Mischel publishes Personality and Assessment.
- January – Miomir Vukobratović proposes Zero Moment Point, a theoretical model to explain biped locomotion.
- September 15–22 – Zond program: Soviet spacecraft Zond 5 becomes the first vehicle to circle the Moon (September 18) and return to splashdown on Earth. It also carries the first living organisms to circle the Moon, including two Russian tortoises, Piophila, mealworms, plants and bacteria.
- October 11 – Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham aboard. Goals for the mission include the first live television broadcast from orbit and testing the lunar module docking maneuver.
- December 24 – Apollo 8 enters Moon orbit. Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William A. Anders are the first humans to see the far side of the Moon and planet Earth as a whole. Anders photographs Earthrise.
- June 6 – Roy Jacuzzi is granted a patent for the Jacuzzi whirlpool hot tub in the United States.
- April 4 – United States theatrical release of Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on a story by Arthur C. Clarke.
- Nobel Prizes
- Turing Award – Richard Hamming
- March 3 – Brian Cox, English physicist and science communicator, previously rock keyboardist
- March 9 – Maggie Aderin-Pocock, English space scientist and science educator
- June 30 – Samantha Tross, Guyanese-born British orthopedic surgeon
- December 11 – Emmanuelle Charpentier, French biochemist, recipient of 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- January 6 – Xu Shunshou (born 1917), Chinese aeronautical engineer.
- February 22 – May Smith (born 1879), English experimental psychologist.
- March 27 – Yuri Gagarin (born 1934), Russian cosmonaut, the first man in space.
- April 1 – Lev Davidovich Landau (born 1908), Russian physicist.
- June 21 – Constance Georgina Tardrew (born 1883), South African botanist.
- July 22 – Muthulakshmi Reddi (born 1886), Indian physician and social reformer.
- July 28 – Otto Hahn (born 1879), German chemist, recipient of 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
- October 27 – Lise Meitner (born 1878), German physicist, discoverer in 1939, with Otto Hahn, of nuclear fission.
- Nature 218 pp. 731–732.
- Altbach, Philip Gabriel; Hoshino, Edith S. (1995). International Book Publishing: An Encyclopedia. Garland Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-8153-0786-0.
- Kane, Joseph Nathan (1997). Famous First Facts: A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries, and Inventions in American History (5th ed.). The H.W. Wilson Company. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-8242-0930-8.
- English, W. K.; Engelbart, D. C. (1968-12-09). "A Research Center for Augmenting Human Intellect". AFIPS Conference Proceedings of the 1968 Fall Joint Computer Conference. Augment. 33. San Francisco. pp. 395–410. 3954. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Tweney, Dylan (2008-09-12). "Dec. 9, 1968: The Mother of All Demos". Wired News. Retrieved 2011-01-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Metz, Cade (2008-12-11). "The Mother of All Demos — 150 years ahead of its time". The Register. Retrieved 2011-01-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Segre, Beniamino (1968). "Alcune proprietà differenziali in grande delle curve chiuse sghembe". Rendiconti di Matematica. 1: 237–297. MR 0243466.
- "A definition of irreversible coma: report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to examine the definition of brain death". Journal of the American Medical Association. 205 (6): 337–340. 1968. doi:10.1001/jama.205.6.337.
- Machado, Calixto (2005). "The first organ transplant from a brain-dead donor". Neurology. 64 (11): 1938–42. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000163515.09793.cb. PMID 15955947.
- DiGeorge, A. M. (1968), Congenital absence of the thymus and its immunologic consequences: concurrence with congenital hypoparathyroidism, IV, White Plains, NY: March of Dimes-Birth Defects Foundation, pp. 116–21
- Restivo, Angelo; Sarkozy, Anna; Digilio, Maria Cristina; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Marino, Bruno (2006). "22q11 Deletion syndrome: a review of some developmental biology aspects of the cardiovascular system". Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine. 7 (2): 77–85. doi:10.2459/01.JCM.0000203848.90267.3e. PMID 16645366.
- "1968: Georges Charpak revolutionizes detection". CERN. 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-28. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Darley, J. M. & Latané, B. (1968). "Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 8 (4, Pt.1): 377–383. doi:10.1037/h0025589. PMID 5645600. Archived from the original on 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- US 3297025 .
- April 27 – Jeff G.
- Rall, Maureen (2002). Petticoat Pioneers : The History of the Pioneer Women who Lived on the Diamond Fields in the Early Years. Kimberley, South Africa: Kimberley Africana Library. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-62027-613-9.
- Bailey Ogilvie, Marilyn; Harvey, Joy (2000). The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: L-Z. London: Routledge. p. 877. ISBN 978-0-41592-040-7.