The Times has outed its list of the top 100 figures in British science, and we’ve had the list before you’ve had chance to nip to the newsagent. Included are David Attenborough and James Dyson, plus Dawkins and Hawkins, as well as Apple’s Jonny Ive, Tim Berners-Lee and Brian Cox, the thinking girl’s crumpet. Click through for the list in full, and drop us a line in the comments to tell us who’s missing, and anyone you don’t think deserves to be included…


1.    Paul Nurse (Nobel laureate, President-elect of Royal Society)
2.     Mark Walport (Director, Wellcome Trust)
3.     Stephen Hawking (Cosmologist, former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Univ of Cambridge)
4.     Alec Jeffreys (inventor of DNA fingerprinting)
5.     Jonathan Ive (Senior VP Industrial Design, Apple)
6.     John Sulston (Nobel laureate, architect of Human Genome Project)
7.     David Attenborough (Broadcaster)
8.     Martin Rees (Astronomer-Royal, President of Royal Society)
9.     Andre Geim (Nobel prize winner 2010, Russian-born Manchester physicist, developed graphene)
10.     Nancy Rothwell (Neuroscientist, VC of Univ of Manchester)
11.     John Rose (CEO, Rolls Royce)
12.    Iain Lobban (Director of GCHQ)
13.    Philip Campbell (Editor in chief, Nature)
14.    Andrew Witty (CEO, GlaxoSmithKline)
15.    Richard Friend (Cavendish Professor at Cambridge, developed new field of plastic electronics)
16.    John Beddington (Govt chief scientist, leading expert on sustainability and conservation)
17.    David Mackay (Chief scientist, DECC, expert on sustainable energy)
18.    Jocelyn Bell Burnell (First female President of Institute of Physics, astronomer)
19.    Ross Brawn (Motorsport engineer and head of world champion Brawn Formula One team)
20.    John Bell (Regius Prof of Medicine, Oxford; President, Academy of Medical Sciences; head of Office for
Strategic Coordination of Health Research)
21.    James Dyson (Inventor and former chairman, Dyson)
22.    Brian Cox (BBC broadcaster and particle physicist)
23.    Fred Sanger (Only living double Nobel laureate, one of only four people to win two Nobels and the only
British double winner. Developed genome sequencing technology)
24.    Paul Davies (Cosmologist, key player in the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)
25.    Richard Dawkins (Biologist and author, populariser of evolution, atheist campaigner)
26.    Sally Davies (Director General of Research & Development and Chief Scientists, Dept of Health and
NHS, and Acting Chief Medical Officer)
27.    Peter Mansfield (Nobel laureate, co-discoverer of MRI scanning)
28.    Wendy Hall (Professor of Computing Science, Univ of Southampton)
29.    Martin Evans (Nobel laureate, first to culture embryonic stem cells)
30.    Kay Davies (Professor of Anatomy, Univ of Oxford, leading expert on genetic disorders)
31.    Simon Campbell (Chemist, led team that developed Viagra for Pfizer)
32.    David Baulcombe (Regius Professor of Botany, U of Cambridge, role in discovery of RNA interference)
33.    Ann Dowling (Prof of Engineering, Univ of Cambridge)
34.    Simon Singh (Science writer, libel reform campaigner)
35.    Peter Higgs (Prof Emeritus of Physics, Univ of Edinburgh, proposer of Higgs boson)
36.    Tim Hunt (Nobel laureate, with Paul Nurse, for work on cell cycle)
37.    Mike Stratton (Director of Sanger Institute, pioneer of cancer genomics)
38.    Harry Kroto (Nobel laureate chemist, discovered „Buckyball? new form of carbon)
39.    Anthony Hollander (Prof of Rheumatology and Tissue Engineering, U of Bristol, led team that did first
successful transplant of an organ made from stem cells)
40.    Chris Whitty (Chief scientist, DFID)
41.    Andrew Wiles (Mathematician, proved Fermat?s Last Theorem)
42.    John Houghton (Leading climate scientist, co-founder of IPCC)
43.    Phil Jones (Former head of Climate Research Unit, UEA)
44.    Tim Berners-Lee (Engineer and computer scientist, developed world wide web)
45.    Greg Winter (Cambridge biologist, developed humanised monoclonal antibodies)
46.    David Brennan (CEO, AstraZeneca)
47.    David King (Former Government chief scientific adviser, leading chemist, director of Smith School for
Enterprise and the Environment, Univ of Oxford)
48.    Leszek Borysiewicz (VC of Univ of Cambridge, former Chf Exec of MRC)
49.    Steve Ley (Prof of Organic Chemistry, U of Cambridge, key role in synthesis of many drug molecules)
50.    John Pendry (Prof of Theoretical Solid State Physics, Imperial, developed first “invisibility cloak”)
51.    Chris Stringer (Head of Human Origins, Natural History Museum)
52.    Adrian Owen (Cambridge neuroimaging expert, work has allowed patients apparently in vegetative
states to communicate)
53.    Kim Shillinglaw (BBC Commissioning Editor, Science & Natural History).
54.    Hermann Hauser (Computing entrepreneur and venture capitalist, co-founder of Acorn, key government
adviser on commercialising science)
55.    Philip Cohen (Dundee U medical biochemist whose work has led to multiple new drugs and biotech
companies. Role in Division of Signal Transduction Therapy collaboration between academia/pharma)
56.    Steven Cowley (Director of Culham nuclear fusion lab)
57.    James Lovelock (environmental scientist, developed Gaia hypothesis)
58.    John Young (Managing Director, Pfizer UK) 59.    Ian King (CEO, BAE Systems)
60.    Peter Knight (Deputy Rector, Imperial, and leading optics researcher)
61.    David Payne (Univ of Southampton, leading optics researcher whose work underpinned broadband
internet, and has founded multiple spinoff companies)
62.    Harpal Kumar (CEO, Cancer Research UK)
63.    Jim Virdee (Spokesman/lead scientist for CMS experiment at CERN)
64.    Peter Ratcliffe (Nuffield Professor of Medicine, Oxford Univ, work has transformed understanding of
cells? response to oxygen, with implications for cancer and heart disease treatment)
65.    Colin Blakemore (Neuroscientist, Oxford and Warwick Us, former MRC chf exec, campaigner against
animal rights terrorism)
66.    Fiona Fox (Director, Science Media Centre)
67.    Graham Richards (Oxford Univ chemist & founder of Isis Innovation – 60 spinout companies)
68.    John Browne (President of Royal Academy of Engineering, former CEO of BP)
69.    John Krebs (world leading zoologist, former head of Food Standards Agency)
70.    Robin Millar (Professor of Education, Univ of York, developed new scientific literacy elements for GCSE)
71.    George Efstathiou (Cambridge astrophysicist and cosmologist, lead investigator on Planck spacecraft)
72.    John McCloskey (Prof of Geophysics, Univ of Ulster. Earthquake expert who predicted the second
Sumatra earthquake)
73.    Heston Blumenthal (chef)
74.    Adrian Smith (Director-General research, BIS)
75.    Simon Donaldson (President, Institute for Mathematical Science at Imperial, Fields Medallist.)
76.    David Nutt (Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, former head of
Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs)
77.    Marcus Du Sautoy (Mathematician, Simonyi Professor of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford)
78.    David Sainsbury (former Science Minister, leading private donor to scientific research)
79.    Ben Goldacre (Doctor and author of Bad Science)
80.    Michael Rawlins (Chair of NICE, chair, Acad of Medical Sciences medical research regulation review)
81.    Guang-Zhong Yang (Prof of Computer Science, Imperial, pioneered computing in medical imaging)
82.    Steve O?Rahilly (Professor of Clinical Biochemistry and Medicine, leading obesity researcher)
83.    Fiona Godlee (Editor, BMJ)
84.    Robert Winston (Broadcaster and fertility medicine pioneer)
85.    Janet Thornton (director of European Bioinformatics Institute)
86.    Mark Welland (Leading nanotechnology scientist, and chief scientist at Ministry of Defence)
87.    Mike Richards (National clinical director for cancer)
88.    Steve Sparks (Bristol University, leading volcanologist)
89.    Ottoline Leyser (plant scientist, Univ of York, important work on mothers in science)
90.    Mark Miodownik (Materials scientist, King?s College London, next Royal Institution Christmas lecturer)
91.    Callum Roberts (Leading marine biologist)
92.    Prince Charles (Heir to the Throne)
93.    John Armitt (Chairman, Olympic Delivery Authority, former CEO of Railtrack)
94.    Paul Smith (Head of Millennium Seed Bank Project, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew)
95.    Richard Fortey (Natural History Museum palaeontologist)
96.    Shankar Balasubramanian (Cambridge chemist, founder of Solexa DNA sequencing company)
97.    Dame Sue Ion (BNFL)
98.    Paul Westbury (Young engineer, among the Millennium Dome/O2 engineers)
99.    Steve Bramwell (Inventor of magnetricity)
100.    Roy Anderson (Epidemiologist, former Rector of Imperial and MoD chief scientist)

Is there anyone who deserves to be here that isn’t, or visa versa? Drop us a line in the comments and tell us your British science heroes.

  • Rodolfo Hermans

    What is Prince Charles doing in this list? For promoting herbal and other alternative treatments?

  • thigham

    Prince Charles in and Sir Ian Wilmut not in, seems slightly strange to me.

  • Infiniteluv

    Roger Penrose?

Hot chat, right here!


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