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Britain has an impressive list of scientists to boast of, from Isaac Newton to more modern names, with DNA and the internet among the advances developed by British scientists and mathematicians. The first four of the names here each saved millions of lives.

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Scientists

Alexander Fleming

No proper statue for Scottish biologist Fleming (1881-1955) who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of penicillin in 1928. First used on a mass scale on D-Day in World War II, it has saved more than 200million lives. (Trivia:
St Mary’s is where Kiefer Sutherland was born.)

St Mary's Hospital,
Praed Street W2 1NY
Tube: Paddington

Isaac Newton

Newton (1643-1727) first described gravitation and the three laws of motion, the basis of modern engineering. He was more influential than Einstein on the history of science. This massive 1995 work by Eduardo Paolozzi is based on a 1795 engraving by poet William Blake.

British Library,
96 Euston Road NW1 2DB
Tube: St Pancras/Euston

Edward Jenner

This statue by William Calder Marshall in the lovely Italian Gardens was the first erected in Kensington Gardens, in 1862 – moved from Trafalgar Square. Jenner (1749-1823) studied at St George's Hospital, where he developed the vaccine that eventually led to the end of smallpox worldwide in 1980.

Kensington Gardens W2
Tube: Lancaster Gate

Sir Clements Markham

In the forecourt of the Royal Geographical Society stands this bust of Markham, who in 1860 led an expedition to collect cinchona trees from the Andes. Once transplanted in India, the supply of cheap quinine produced from them helped prevent millions of deaths from malaria.

Kensington Gore W8
Tube: South Kensington

Michael Faraday

Sculptor John Henry Foley’s work remembers chemist and physicist Faraday (1791- 1867), famed for his work on electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His inventions were the basis of electric motors, hence his position here at the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET - www.theiet.org).

Savoy Place WC2R 0BL
Tube: Charing Cross

Charles Darwin

This 1885 two-tonne marble of Darwin (1809-1882) is by Joseph Edgar Boehm – designer of Queen Victoria’s head on coins. His pupil Princess Louise, daughter of Victoria, was with him when he died suddenly at home in 1890, causing much gossip.

Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road SW7
Tube: South Kensington

Sir Hans Sloane

Physician and collector, Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) was a friend of Isaac Newton, Christopher Wren and Samuel Pepys. The British Museum and Natural History Museum were founded on his work but his real claim to fame may be that he invented milk drinking chocolate while exploring the Caribbean.

Duke of York Square SW3
Tube: Sloane Square

Lord Lister

The fine sculpture by Sir Thomas Brock shows Lister (1827-1912), the man who introduced antiseptics to surgery – saving countless lives previously lost to gangrene – and stands near his old home. Brock also did the Queen Victoria Memorial at Buckingham Palace and Captain Cook in the Mall.

Portland Place W1
Tube: Regents Park

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