The first programme begins 350 years ago when a small group of friends, colleagues and rivals defied everything that was known about the world at that time. Stephen Hawking and Jim Al-Khalili explain how Isaac Newton saw mathematics at the root of everything, from gravity to light. James Dyson demonstrates Robert Boyle's air pump, which revealed the life-giving invisible world around us, whose laws could be understood through experiment and reason.
David Attenborough celebrates the many interests of Christopher Wren, who was best known as an architect, but was equally fascinated by surgery and astronomy. Richard Dawkins explores Robert Hooke's revelatory microscopic world, and champions the virtues of a scientist whose name was almost wiped from the history books by men who despised him: most notably his arch-rival Newton. And Kathy Sykes charts Edmond Halley's exploration of the stars, which helped Britain's sailors to rule the waves.
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. 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.
Source: Channel 4