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Britain's top scientific names tell the story of the British science and ingenuity that has been at the forefront of some of history's greatest advances

About the Show

Britain's top scientific names tell the story of the British science and ingenuity that has been at the forefront of some of history's greatest advances

Series 1 Summary

Britain may only be a small island, but its great scientists and inventors have literally created the modern world: from the invention of the steam engine, computers and the world-wide web to the discovery of the theory of evolution and the atom.

In this five-part series some of Britain's leading scientific figures - Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, James Dyson, David Attenborough, Robert Winston, Paul Nurse, Jim Al-Khalili, Kathy Sykes and Olivia Judson - tell the stories of the people behind these innovations.

From Isaac Newton to Frank Whittle, James Watt to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and Joseph Banks to Rosalind Franklin, these are the people who - through blood, sweat and tears - overcame all obstacles in the search for answers.

  • Kathy Sykes

    Episode 1

    Three and a half centuries ago, a small group of British friends, colleagues and rivals, including Newton, Wren and Halley, defied everything that was known about the world at that time

  • Jim Al-Khalili

    Episode 2

    Scientists including Richard Dawkins look at the scientific spark that ignited the Industrial Revolution, from James Watt's steam engine to naturalist Joseph Banks

  • Richard Dawkins

    Episode 3

    This episode looks at the scientific titans of the 19th century, whose drive and ambitions created the railways, discovered electricity and devised one of the most explosive ideas ever: evolution

  • Paul Nurse

    Episode 4

    This episode tells the story of some of the scientists and engineers who helped Britain win the Second World War, and how we continue to enjoy the benefits of their discoveries to this day.

  • James Dyson

    Episode 5

    The last episode in the series examines the incredible scientific discoveries of the last 50 years and reveals where some of the greatest scientific minds of our time think we are heading.

Genius of Britain synopsis

Britain's top scientific names tell the story of the British science and ingenuity that has been at the forefront of some of history's greatest advances

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