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Genius of Britain: The Scientists Who Changed the World

Genius of Britain: The Scientists Who Changed the World is a five-part Channel 4 documentary series that celebrates Britain's great scientists and inventors who have been at the forefront of some of history's greatest advances. The series begins with Isaac Newton's work and Robert Boyle's air pump, 350 years ago. Then it looks at the scientific spark that ignited the Industrial Revolution in Britain, such as James Watt's invention of the steam engine and Joseph Priestley's discovery of oxygen. The third episode looks at the scientific titans of the 19th century, including Michael Faraday who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and Alfred Russel Wallace who nearly pipped Darwin to the theory of evolution. The fourth episode tells the story of some of the scientists and engineers who helped Britain win the Second World War: Alan Turing, Frank Whittle, Robert Watson-Watt, Paul Dirac, and Alexander Fleming. And the fifth and final episode looks at the discoveries of the last 50 years, including Rosalind Franklin's work and the discovery of carbon nanotubes.

Episode 1 - The First Five
This episode begins 350 years ago when a small group of friends, colleagues and rivals defied everything that was known about the world at that time. Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Christopher Wren, Robert Hooke, Edmond Halley are celebrated.

Episode 2 - A Roomful of Brilliant Minds
This episode looks at the scientific spark that ignited the Industrial Revolution in Britain. James Watt, Joseph Priestley, Joseph Banks, John Hunter are celebrated.

Episode 3 - Turning on the Lights
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, such as Michael Faraday, Lord Kelvin, and Alfred Russel Wallace.

Episode 4 - Out of the Darkness
This episode examines how war can bring with it innovation as well as horror. It tells the story of some of the scientists and engineers who helped Britain win the Second World War: Alan Turing, Frank Whittle, Robert Watson-Watt, Paul Dirac, and Alexander Fleming.

Episode 5 - The Secrets of Life
This episode looks at the incredible discoveries of the last 50 years and reveals where some of the greatest minds of our time think we are heading - Rosalind Franklin's work, the career of astronomer Fred Hoyle, and a revolutionary new discovery - carbon nanotubes.


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