Famous British Scientists

Science has been a driving force behind the evolution of the modern world. The hard work and dedication of scientists have led to the evolution of sophisticated automobiles and better medical facilities. Scientists belonging to countries like Britain have made immense contributions in the fields of physics and biology. Charles Darwin is one such genius belonging to the nation who proposed the famous theory which tried to explore the reasons behind the birth and evolution of living organisms. British physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton revolutionized the field of science through his incredible discoveries such as the ‘Newton’s Laws of Motion’ and others. Compiling a list of British scientists and their contributions towards science would seem to be never ending. J.J Thompson, Michael Faraday, Malcolm Brenner and Ralph Benjamin are a few other prominent scientists produced by the country. Some of the discoveries and inventions of these scientists have even inspired many people to embrace science as a career. Many British scientists have been honored on quite a few occasions for their splendid work. We present to you a collection of biographies of popular scientists belonging to Britain. Discover their life stories, and interesting trivia & facts related to their lives in this section.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Alan Turing

Alan Turing
78
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: June 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: June 7, 1954

Regarded as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing was a distinguished mathematician and logician. During WWII, he successfully broke the challenging German Enigma machine codes thereby reducing the duration of war by a couple of years. The scientist, who was convicted for being gay, has been an inspiration for numerous films, plays and novels.

 2 Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking
25
Famous As: Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist
Birthdate: January 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who despite being afflicted motor neurone disease that severely limited his physical abilities, was able to build a phenomenally successful career. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking was ranked 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, in 2002.

 3 Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton
31
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: January 4, 1643
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: March 31, 1727

One of the most influential and popular scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton played a prominent role in our understanding of natural phenomena. He formulated the law of universal gravitation and laws of motion. He also developed the Newtonian telescope among other devices. Apart from science, Newton was also intrigued by religion, occult, and alchemy.

 4 Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday
2
Famous As: Physicist & Chemist
Birthdate: September 22, 1791
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: August 25, 1867

Michael Faraday was an English scientist known for his contribution to the study of electrochemistry and electromagnetism. Considered one of the most influential scientists ever, Faraday's inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices established the basis for electric motor technology. His research also helped understand the concept of the electromagnetic field. Ernest Rutherford called him one of the greatest scientific discoverers ever.

 5 Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll
2
Famous As: Author, Mathematician and Photographer
Birthdate: January 27, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: January 14, 1898
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pseudonym, Lewis Carroll, is remembered for his iconic children’s fiction such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. He explored the genre of literary nonsense with his poems such as Jabberwocky. He was also a photographer, a mathematician, and an inventor.

 6 Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage
5
Famous As: Father of the computer
Birthdate: December 26, 1791
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: October 18, 1871
Charles Babbage, or the “father of the computer,” invented the prototype of the world’s first mechanical calculator, the Difference Engine. With the help of mathematician Ada Lovelace, he also created the Analytical Engine, the first general-purpose computer and a precursor of the modern computer, with its looping and sequential mechanism.

 7 John Dalton

John Dalton
2
Birthdate: September 6, 1766
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: July 27, 1844
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 8 Roger Penrose

Roger Penrose
5
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 8, 1931
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

Roger Penrose’s contribution to the research related to the black hole and general relativity earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2020. The Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at Oxford, Roger is also a fellow of Wadham College, St John's College of Cambridge, and University College London.

 9 Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin
0
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: April 16, 1958
Chemist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin is remembered for her pathbreaking X-ray diffraction studies of DNA, which helped in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the double helix structure of DNA by Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins later. She also worked on the molecular structures of viruses. 

 10 Freeman Dyson

Freeman Dyson
0
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: December 15, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British, American
Died: February 28, 2020
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 11 Paul Dirac

Paul Dirac
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: August 8, 1902
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: October 20, 1984

 12 Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 28, 1635
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: March 3, 1703

Scientist Robert Hooke, also called England's Leonardo, initially gained recognition as an architect, conducting surveys following the Great Fire of London. He also taught geometry and was part of the Royal Society. He assisted Robert Boyle and eventually developed his own microscope, thus becoming the first to visualize micro-organisms.

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 13 J. J. Thomson

J J Thompson
0
Famous As: Physicist, Nobel Prize Winner
Birthdate: December 18, 1856
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: August 30, 1940

 14 Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace
0
Famous As: Naturalist, Explorer, Geographer, Anthropologist and Biologist
Birthdate: January 8, 1823
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: November 7, 1913
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 15 Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin
11
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: April 19, 1882

Widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the history of mankind, Charles Darwin was an English biologist, naturalist, and geologist. He is credited with publishing the Theory of Evolution, which explains the evolution of life from a unicellular organism to human beings. A prolific writer, Charles Darwin also wrote important books on plants and barnacles.

 16 Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins
2
Famous As: Evolutionary Biologist
Birthdate: March 26, 1941
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Richard Dawkins is a British ethologist, author, and evolutionary biologist. He first achieved popularity after publishing his book, The Selfish Gene, which is credited with popularizing the gene selection theory. The book is also credited with introducing the term meme. In 2006, he established the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science to promote secularism and scientific literacy.

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 17 Brian Cox

Brian Cox
4
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: March 3, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

 18 John Horton Conway

John Horton Conway
0
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: December 26, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: April 11, 2020
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 19 James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell
5
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: June 13, 1831
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: November 5, 1879

 20 Lord Kelvin

Lord Kelvin
0
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist
Birthdate: June 26, 1824
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: December 17, 1907
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 21 Bill Oddie

Bill Oddie
0
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 7, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 22 Peter Higgs

Peter Higgs
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: May 29, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
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 23 G. H. Hardy

G. H. Hardy
5
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 7, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: December 1, 1947

 24 Francis Crick

Francis Crick
0
Famous As: Co-discoverer of the Structure of the DNA Molecule, Nobel Prize Winner
Birthdate: June 8, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: July 28, 2004

 25 James Chadwick

James Chadwick
0
Famous As: Discoverer of Neutron
Birthdate: October 20, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: July 24, 1974

 26 Henry Moseley

Henry Moseley
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 23, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: August 10, 1915
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 27 Henry Cavendish

Henry Cavendish
0
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: October 10, 1731
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: February 24, 1810

 28 Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell
0
Famous As: Astronomer, Astrophysicist
Birthdate: July 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 29 Stamford Raffles

Stamford Raffles
0
Famous As: Former Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies
Birthdate: July 6, 1781
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Jamaican, British
Died: July 5, 1826

Stamford Raffles was a British statesman who served as the Lieutenant-Governor of the Dutch East Indies from 1811 to 1816. From 1818 to 1824, he served as the Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen. Raffles is best remembered for founding the Straits Settlements and modern Singapore. He also played a major role in the invasion of Java in 1811 during the Napoleonic Wars.

 30 Wade Barrett

Wade Barrett
0
Famous As: Professional wrestler, Marine biologist
Birthdate: August 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 31 Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks
0
Famous As: Scientist, Neurologist, Educator, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: July 9, 1933
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: August 30, 2015

 32 George Boole

George Boole
5
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher and Logician
Birthdate: November 2, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: December 8, 1864

 33 James Prescott Joule

James Prescott Joule
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: December 24, 1818
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: October 11, 1889

 34 Andrew Wiles

Andrew Wiles
11
Famous As: Mathematician, University teacher
Birthdate: April 11, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British, American

 35 Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
0
Famous As: Astronomer, University teacher
Birthdate: May 10, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British, American
Died: December 7, 1979

 36 Thomas Young

Thomas Young
0
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: June 13, 1773
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: May 10, 1829

 37 Jeremy Wade

Jeremy Wade
0
Famous As: Biologist, Television presenter, Writer
Birthdate: March 23, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 38 Humphry Davy

Humphry Davy
0
Famous As: Inventor of Davy Lamp
Birthdate: December 17, 1778
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Died: May 29, 1829

 39 Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley
0
Famous As: Discoverer of Oxygen
Birthdate: March 24, 1733
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: February 6, 1804

 40 Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren
0
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 20, 1632
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: February 25, 1723

 41 Bob Paisley

Bob Paisley
0
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: January 23, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: February 14, 1996

 42 William Henry Perkin

William Henry Perkin
0
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: March 12, 1838
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: July 14, 1907

 43 Piers Corbyn

Piers Corbyn
0
Famous As: Meteorologist
Birthdate: March 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

 44 Thomas Henry Huxley

Thomas Henry Huxley
0
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: May 4, 1825
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: June 29, 1895

 45 David Kelly

David Kelly
0
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: May 14, 1944
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: July 17, 2003

 46 Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
0
Famous As: Structural biologist
Birthdate: 1952 AD
Nationality: Indian, British, American

 47 James Glaisher

James Glaisher
0
Famous As: Meteorologists
Birthdate: April 7, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: February 7, 1903

 48 Frederick Sanger

Frederick Sanger
0
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: August 13, 1918
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: November 19, 2013

 49 Joseph Lister

Joseph Lister
0
Famous As: Surgeon and Scientist
Birthdate: April 5, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: February 10, 1912

 50 Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake
0
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 28, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British