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Genius of Britain

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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(May 31, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

The Scientists Who Changed the World

"Utterly splendid" --The Observer (U.K.)
"Brilliant" --The Times (U.K.)
"Full of fascinating detail" --The Independent (U.K.)
"Intelligent but accessible" --The Guardian (U.K.)

Charismatic men of action and reclusive eccentrics. Eureka moments and serendipitous strokes of luck. Discoveries born of crisis and insatiable curiosity. The history of scientific progress in Britain offers an astonishing breadth of personalities and has had an awe-inspiring effect on civilization.

Each episode in this five-part series brings an era of scientific thought to vivid life, with modern-day geniuses examining the legacies of their heroes. Stephen Hawking takes on Isaac Newton, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins discusses Alfred Russel Wallace, acclaimed naturalist David Attenborough profiles Joseph Banks, and many more. Also in the mix: industrial designer James Dyson, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Paul Nurse, and others.

Along the way, learn intriguing facts about famous scientists and discover unheralded people whose revelations have changed the way we live today, paving the path for everything from the steam engine to current thinking about the atom and evolution.

Special Features

Bonus disc, Stephen Hawking and the Theory of Everything (90) min., about the search for an explanation of the universe
12-page viewer’s guide with articles on myths and science, lesser-known geniuses, the Royal Society, the steady state theory, and a gallery of evolutionary specimens
Biographies of the presenters
Plus a timeline of British scientific advances, article on Rosalind Franklin, and more at

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2011
  • Run Time: 236 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B004O0CK8C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,395 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A group of current science leaders of the UK take a look at some of their favorite past scientists and their achievements in "Genius of Britain." Some were so surprising that I had to do an internet search to verify that the beginning was indeed from the UK. All I check proved true. This was a fascinating trip through 4 centuries of science. Well presented with plenty of old and new footage, stills, drawings, and computer enhancements. Not just lecture, but an engaging documentary of historical facts that surprise and educate. What a fun way to visit highlights of science and history at the same time.

SUBTITLES available for all episodes, each about 50 minutes.
17th century London begins with the varied interests of London architect/rebuilder Christopher Wren, the 1664 comet, war corpses dissected and parts drawn in detail. Nest is Robert Hooke's microscopic world of the compound microscope, followed by Robert Boyle's air pump (with Hooke's help) and observed vacuum. Moving on we see Isaac Newton, his math and gravity; ending with Edmond Halley's adventures on the sea and S. Hem. star map.

Each presenter picked an 18th century scientist from a Victorian group picture. Sir Joseph Banks, botanist, traveled with Capt. Cook to Tahiti in 1768-71 & largely was responsible for Kew Gardens. James Watt, perfected the steam power igniting the British Industrial Revolution. Surgeon John Hunter was the father of modern surgery and Edward Jenner provided smallpox immunity from cowpox. Smallpox is now extinct. Henry Cavendish found hydrogen in 1766, a lead-in to flight, and clergyman Joseph Priestley, Cavendish's friend, was responsible for carbon dioxide which led to soda pop and oxygen.
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Genius of Britain
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