Win The Genius of Britain, available to own for the first time on DVD from 7 June from 4DVDSynopsis
From the steam engine, evolution, the atom, the computer and the World Wide Web – British science has quite literally changed the modern world. Some of Britain’s leading scientific names - Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, James Dyson, David Attenborough, Robert Winston, Paul Nurse, Jim Al-Khalili, Kathy Sykes and Olivia Judson – will be telling the stories of the people behind these innovations.
These are stories of obsession, of people prepared to inject themselves with syphilis, drink poison, blow themselves up and undertake suicidal voyages - all in the name of discovery.
From Isaac Newton to Frank Whittle, James Watt to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and Joseph Banks to Rosalind Franklin, these are the men and women who - through blood, sweat and tears - overcame obstacles to discover the truth.
The tales range from accounts of pure genius: when the apple fell and the secrets of the universe were unlocked: to dark tales of obsession, deception and even bodysnatching. There are stories of perilous voyages across vast oceans, and the ruthless competition to solve the mystery – and grab the glory - first. Each story has a ‘Eureka!’ moment, when everything becomes clear.
The presenters revisit the awe-inspiring inventions and fantastical designs from British history: from Hooke’s giant telescope, to James Watt’s steam engine, to Brunel’s awe-inspiring Great Eastern and Rosalind Franklin’s breakthrough X-ray. The series reveals the genius of an engine run on water; the sublime beauty of gravity; and the threat of dark matter.
But at the heart of this series are the human stories behind the inventions, gadgets and remarkable scientific truths that we now take for granted.
Microscopes, telescopes, laughing gas, mould, sub-atomic particles, the World Wide Web and cyber brains. These are just some of the discoveries that were made by some truly incredible British people.
The Genius of Britain DVD, will be available from 4DVD following its run on Channel 4.
To win the DVD
....all you need to do is answer this easy question:Where was Richard Dawkins born?
To enter email your answer, along with your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org
make sure you put "Science Competition" in the subject line of your email, or your entry will not count.
The competition ends on 9th June 2010, any and all entries received after this point will not count.
Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
Programme 1 – Making the Invisible Visible
A small group of men in the late Seventeenth Century defied everything that was known about the world at that time. Isaac Newton and his colleagues, friends and rivals – including Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle and Edmond Halley – dared to break the mould of medieval thought and started experimenting. In doing so they discovered how the planets moved and how the human body worked. Superstition was superseded by the rigorous scientific world of microscopes, calculus and modern medicine.
Programme 2 – Men of Science
In this programme James Dyson tells the story of the small boy (James Watt) who sat watching his mother’s kettle boil – and went on to create the steam engine that would herald the industrial revolution, as well as the clergyman (Joseph Priestley) who discovered the very air we breathe. David Attenborough talks about his hero Joseph Banks, the great naturalist who sailed to the South Seas and then came back to found Kew Gardens. And Robert Winston reveals the extraordinary story of John Hunter - surgeon, anatomist… and body-snatcher.
Programme 3 – The Lights Come On
From Michael Faraday and Lord Kelvin to Stephen Hawking’s hero, James Clerk Maxwell, this programme traces the story of electricity. James Dyson also explores the life and achievements of Brunel, and Richard Dawkins talks about a great neglected hero of his – Alfred Russel Wallace, the man who nearly pipped Darwin to the theory of evolution.
Programme 4 – Out of the Darkness
This programme focuses on World War II and the immense contributions made towards victory by Britain’s scientists and engineers. James Dyson reveals his passion for Frank Whittle’s jet engine and experiences the mind-blowing force of a modern jet fighter, Richard Dawkins discusses his admiration for Alan Turing, and Paul Nurse tells us the real story of Alexander Fleming, whose discovery of penicillin would save the lives of hundreds of thousands of fighting men.
Programme 5 – The Secrets of Life
In this final programme, Richard Dawkins and Olivia Judson reveal the true story of how Watson and Crick discovered DNA; Stephen Hawking discusses his one time mentor Sir Fred Hoyle, while James Dyson explores nano-technology. The series ends with a great meeting of minds when Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins ask each other the questions they really want answered, such as: is there life on other planets and why do you care about God?
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