British science has taken centre stage at the opening ceremonies of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, topped off by last night’s appearance of Stephen Hawking as our guide through the Enlightenment.
“Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious you idiots.”
OK, he didn’t add those last two words, but undoubtedly would have done had he caught sight of the Science Museum’s new survey into what British people know about British scientists.
It turns out half of us don’t know that Tim Berners-Lee was one of the inventors of the internet and a third don’t know about either Sir Frank Whittle and the jet engine or the development of TV in Scotland by John Logie Baird.
The survey is a teaser for the Science Museum’s exhibition, Make It in Great Britain, which still has a couple of weeks to go and which puts a strong case for the country’s inventive prowess.
Having said that, today I’m backing Swiss scientists on the grounds they are the ones to have discovered that chocolate is good for men’s health.
“There should be no boundary to human endeavour”, said Hawking. “Look up at the stars, not down at your feet.”
Exactly my thoughts. I’m off to eat my weight in Milka, Man v. Food style, and then spend the rest of my life gazing skywards as I won’t be able to see my feet.