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. James Dyson looks at the life of Michael Faraday, the impoverished son of a blacksmith who became obsessed with electricity and gave us energy at the flick of a switch. Kathy Sykes explores the many achievements of Lord Kelvin, who amassed over 70 patents, wrote the laws of thermodynamics and was responsible for the first transatlantic telegraph cable. Richard Dawkins talks about a great neglected hero of his, Alfred Russel Wallace: the man who nearly pipped Darwin to the theory of evolution. And James Dyson explores the life and vast accomplishments of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
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