Pioneers

Our chapter is proud to recognise and build upon the pioneering expeditions of explorers from Great Britain and Ireland throughout history.

Our members have followed in their footsteps and have continued to push the boundaries of human intrigue, fortitude and determination.

Sir David Attenborough
1926 -
After studying the natural sciences at the University of Cambridge, Sir David Attenborough began his career as a producer at the BBC, where he launched the successful Zoo Quest series. Attenborough was made controller of BBC Two in 1965 and later its director of programming. During his tenure the station crossed over to color television, and Attenborough was instrumental in expanding its natural history content. Attenborough left the BBC to begin writing and producing various series, including the smash hit Life on Earth, which set the standards for the modern nature documentary. Since then Attenborough has written, produced, hosted and narrated countless award- winning, nature-focused programs and has devoted his life to celebrating and preserving wildlife.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes
1944 -
Sir Ranulph Fiennes is a British adventurer, pioneering polar explorer, and writer, who, among his many exploits, in 1979–82 led the first north-south surface circumnavigation of the world (i.e., along a meridian). His record-breaking expeditions include travel by riverboat, hovercraft, manhaul sledge, skidoo, Land Rover and ski. In 1969 Fiennes led his first expedition: a journey by hovercraft up the White Nile River that began in eastern Sudan and ended at Lake Victoria in southern Uganda. The following year he left the military and married Virginia (‘Ginny’) Pepper, whom he had met as a child and who, until her death in 2004, would be the collaborator on many of his subsequent expeditions and adventures.

Rory Golden
1954 -
Rory Golden became the first Irish diver to visit the site of RMS Titanic, in August 2000,in an expedition that recovered 800 artefacts from nearly 4,000 metres. His dive took place in a Russian submersible. He spotted and recovered the main ship’s wheel. He made a second dive in August 2005 featuring in a BBC documentary. MD of Virgin Records Ireland for 15 years, he founded his own company, Flagship Scubadiving Ltd in 1999. He has been involved in diving since 1976, as instructor, commercial diver, amateur underwater archaeologist, as well as P.R.O. for The Irish Underwater Council. In March 2013, he was part of the Bezos Expeditions F-1 Engine Recovery Project which recovered Apollo rocket engines from over 4000 metres in the North Atlantic. As a team member, he was awarded the Citation of Merit by the Explorers Club. He is currently doing consultancy work for RMS Titanic Inc.

Kenton Cool
1973 -
Kenton Cool is one of the world’s leading high-altitude climbers, an avid adventurer and also a highly engaging and inspiring motivational speaker. He has successfully climbed Mount Everest 14 times along with many other mountain peaks around the globe. He is the only Briton to ski down two 8,000m peaks and is an IFMGA guide. His goal is to inspire the next generation.

Levison Wood
1982 -
Levison Wood is a British explorer, writer and photographer whose work has featured around the world. From 2013-2014, Lev walked the length of the river Nile - an expedition of 4,250 miles that took nine months and was Channel 4's most successful factual series of the year. His book ‘Walking the Nile’ became a Sunday Times bestseller. In 2015, Lev walked the length of the Himalayas, a six-month journey of over 1700 miles from Afghanistan to Bhutan, which was televised on Channel 4 as a five-part documentary series, airing throughout January 2016. His latest expedition was his most ambitious to date - a 5,000-mile circumnavigation of the Arabian Peninsula from Iraq to Lebanon. Before his entrance into travel documentary, Levison spent a number of years as an Officer in the British Parachute Regiment.

Vanessa O’Brien
1964 -
Vanessa O’Brien became the first American woman to climb K2 and the first British woman to climb K2 (as a result of her dual nationality) on 28 July 2017 when she successfully led a team of 12 members to the summit and back on her third attempt. She received the SES Explorer of the Year in 2018 for her efforts. Vanessa proudly raised the UN Women’s Flag at the summit of K2 to show the power of women’s courage and determination. Vanessa has a Guinness World Record for summiting the Seven Summits in 295 days, the fastest time a woman first achieved this goal. She has also skied the Last Degree to the North and South poles. On June 12th 2020, she became the second woman to reach the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the ocean.

Ed Stafford
1975 -
Ed Stafford is the Guinness World Record-holding first person to walk the Amazon River. In 2011, he was awarded European Adventurer of the Year and the Mungo Park Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in recognition of outstanding contributions to geographical knowledge through exploration. Post Walking the Amazon Ed has gone on to film seven survival series for Discovery Channel. The first, Naked and Marooned [aka Naked Castaway in the USA], involved him being stranded naked on an uninhabited island for 60 days with no food, water, or tools of any kind to help him survive. Ed is an ambassador for Land Rover, the Scouts, and the Youth Adventure Trust.

Sue Flood
1968 -
Sue Flood is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker, zoologist, adventure travel leader and public speaker. Her work takes her all over the world but she has a special passion for the wildlife and icy beauty of the Polar regions and is one of the very few women professional photographers who returns again and again to Earth’s harshest and most demanding environments. Her first visit to the Poles happened during her 11 years in the BBC’s prestigious Natural History Unit, working on such global hits such as The Blue Planet and Planet Earth, with Sir David Attenborough; on National Geographic and Discovery Channel co-productions and on the Disney nature movie Earth.

Felicity Aston MBE
1977 -
British polar explorer Felicity Aston MBE is an Antarctic scientist turned author, speaker and expedition leader. In 2012, she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica. It was a journey of 1744km that took 59 days to complete and which gave her a place in the book of Guinness World Records. Felicity continues to explore, specialising in new and exciting ways to communicate the expedition experience to the wider world. Her Kaspersky Lab Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition was the first to ‘Tweet to the Pole’ and material from her Pole of Cold expedition has been developed into a travelling art exhibition.

Hannah McKeand
1977 -
In 2006 Hannah McKeand set a world speed record for skiing solo and unsupported to the South Pole, a journey of 690 miles that she completed in 39 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes. She went on to complete six expeditions to the South Pole and over 6000 miles of Antarctic sled-hauling, more than anyone else in the world today. She has also undertaken expeditions on the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, South America, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Namibia, Afghanistan and the Amazon and she has sailed around the world. She works full time as a polar field guide, logistics consultant, and motivational speaker.

Matt Prior
1982 -
Matt served for six years in the Royal Air Force flying Tucanos and Hawks before being subject to the UK Defence cuts. Since his teenage years he has travelled to over 120 countries and ascended various famous peaks across five continents. He has embarked on numerous unsupported expeditions. Matt has been flying for over fifteen years with 3500hrs+ experience in paramotor, piston, turbo prop, fast jet and wide body aircraft all over the world. He is an Adventure Consultant for Red Bull, holds the World Record for the Highest Altitude Reached by Taxi – 17,143ft. and over the years has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. He is also the co-founder and CEO of 101 Meridian, AdventureX, the World’s First Adventure Academy and MP Performance who work with ex UK Special Forces in outdoor environments to bring out the best in people.

Kate Adie
1945 -
Kate grew up in Sunderland and gained her BA from Newcastle University where she read Swedish. She became a familiar figure through her work as BBC Chief News Correspondent. She is considered to be among the most reliable reporters, as well as one of the first British women, sending despatches from danger zones around the world. As a television news correspondent, Kate’s memorable assignments include both Gulf Wars, four years of war in the Balkans, the final NATO intervention in Kosovo and elections in 2000; the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster at Zeebrugge, the massacre at Dunblane, the Selby rail crash, the SAS lifting of the Iran Embassy Siege in London, the Bologna railway station bombing and the Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing in 1989.

Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed
1860 - 1934
Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed, usually known after her third marriage as Mrs Aubrey Le Blond and to her climbing friends as Lizzie Le Blond, was a British pioneer of mountaineering in a time when it was almost unheard of for a woman to climb mountains. She was also an author and a photographer of mountain scenery. She grew up in Greystones, County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland and later moved to Switzerland, where she climbed mountains in her skirt. In 1907, she took the lead in forming the Ladies' Alpine Club and became its first president. She wrote seven books on mountain climbing and over her lifetime made twenty first ascents, conquering peaks that no one had climbed before.

Robert Falcon Scott CVO
1868 - 1912
Robert Falcon Scott was a British Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition (1901–1904) and the ill- fated Terra Nova Expedition (1910–1913). On the first expedition, he set a new southern record by marching to latitude 82°S and discovered the Polar (Antarctic) Plateau, on which the South Pole is located. On the second venture, Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, four weeks after Roald Amundsen's Norwegian expedition. On their return journey, Scott's party discovered plant fossils, proving Antarctica was once forested and joined to other continents. A planned meeting with supporting dog teams from the base camp failed, despite Scott's written instructions, and at a distance of 150 miles from their base camp and 11 miles from the next depot, Scott and his companions perished.

Colonel John Blashford-Snell CBE DSc(Hon) DEng(hc) FRSGS
1936 -
Colonel John Blashford-Snell, a Royal Engineer and one of the world’s most seasoned explorers, was educated at Victoria College, Jersey, and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. In recognition of his leadership of the Blue Nile, British Trans-Americas and Zaire River Expeditions, he was awarded the Livingstone Medal, a top award for exploration, as well as gaining the MBE in 1968. He has also been awarded the famous Segrave Trophy for demonstrating, together with his comrades, ‘How the display of courage, initiative and skill, the spirit of adventure itself, can assist in the development of transport by air, land and water.’ He has been on over 60 expeditions. Today he supports numerous charities and divides his life between the concrete and green jungles. His fascinating illustrated lectures have become highly popular.

Sir David Hempleman-Adams, KCVO, OBE, KStJ, DL, FRSGS
1956 -
Born 1956 in Swindon, David Hempleman-Adams is an English explorer. He is the first man in history to reach the Geographic and Magnetic North and South Poles as well as climb the highest peaks in all seven continents, a feat he christened the Adventurers' Grand Slam. He has made seven Arctic expeditions. He also became the first person in history to make a solo open-basket, hot-air balloon flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 2003.

Gertrude Bell CBE
1868 - 1926
Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE (14 July 1868 – 12 July 1926) was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, and archaeologist who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial policy-making due to her knowledge and contacts, built up through extensive travels in Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia. Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped support the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan as well as in Iraq.

Beatrice Ethel Grimshaw
1870 - 1953
Beatrice Grimshaw was an Irish-born writer and traveller whose many books deal with her travels and adventures in the South Seas. She was commissioned by the London Daily Graphic to travel around the world and report her experiences, but she was so attracted by the Pacific islands that the journey was never completed; she settled in Papua in 1907 and became the first white woman to grow tobacco there. She travelled extensively among the islands of the Pacific and the East Indies and made detailed studies of local legends and customs. She wrote more than 33 novels and travel books based on those experiences, of which the best known is the novel The Red Gods Call (1910).

Sir Ernest Shackleton
1874 - 1922
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was a key figure in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration alongside Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott. He was born to Anglo-Irish parents in County Kildare, Ireland. Rejecting his father’s wish that he become a doctor, he joined the merchant navy when he was 16 and qualified as a master mariner in 1898. This enabled him to travel widely and he developed a keen interest in exploring the Poles. Although Shackleton was not immediately recognised for his achievements after the Endurance expedition, in later years his exploits have been the focus of many books, films, television shows and memorials. While he never achieved his personal dream of being the first to reach the South Pole, his reputation as a leader of men is based on a still greater success: the survival and safe return of all of his team members, often overcoming almost unimaginable odds.

Tom Crean
1877 - 1938
Tom Crean figured prominently in three of the four major British expeditions to the Antarctic a century ago and spent more time in the ice and snow than either of the more celebrated and instantly recognisable figures of Sir Ernest Shackleton or Captain Robert Scott. And he outlived them both. Crean first went south in 1901 with Scott’s ground-breaking Discovery expedition, on which he served his polar apprenticeship and learned the skills to survive in the most inhospitable place on earth. He returned a decade later when Scott made his ill-fated bid to reach the South Pole in 1911. Crean was a key figure on the expedition, dragging a sledge to within 150 miles of the South Pole before being ordered to return to base camp.

Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury
1883 - 1963
C.K. Howard Bury was born at Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co.Offaly, Ireland, where he was privately educated,later at Eton, and then the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, where he graduated as a Captain in 1904. He served with his regiment in India prior to World War I. He wrote many early travel diaries of his experiences during the early 1900's. He was a seasoned explorer, having done a tour of the Tian Shan Mountains in 1913. During World War I he saw active service and at Ypres he was taken prisoner by the Germans. He was a P.O.W until his release in 1919. His pre-war travels in the East, and his linguistic skills were vital to the success of the 1921 Royal Geographic Society expedition to Mount Everest, of which he was leader, and he published his account of it in Mount Everest: The Reconnaissance (1922). He was awarded the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1922.

Rev. Francis Mary Hegarty Browne
1880 - 1960
Rev. Francis Mary Hegarty Browne was a distinguished Irish Jesuit and a prolific photographer. His best known photographs are those of the RMS Titanic and its passengers and crew taken shortly before its sinking in 1912. Browne also took many photographs during WWI and one, which he called ‘Watch on the Rhine’, is considered a classic image of the bloodshed. In 1924, in a bid to speed his recovery from ill heath, he was sent on an extended visit to Australia. He took his camera along, photographing life aboard ship and in Cape Town, South Africa, where he broke his voyage. His photographs from Australia covered a cross-section of life in the continent; he took pictures of farms, cattle stations, industries, new immigrants, and members of Irish religious orders who lived in that country.

George Mallory
1886 - 1924
George Herbert Leigh was an English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest, in the early 1920s. During the 1924 British Mount Everest expedition, Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew ‘Sandy’ Irvine, disappeared on the North-East ridge during their attempt to make the first ascent of the world's highest mountain. The pair were last seen when they were about 800 vertical feet (245 m) from the summit. Mallory's ultimate fate was unknown for 75 years, until his body was discovered on 1 May 1999 by an expedition that had set out to search for the climbers' remains. Whether Mallory and Irvine had reached the summit before they died remains a subject of speculation and continuing research.

Amy Johnson CBE
1903 - 1941
Amy Johnson CBE was a pioneering British aviator who was the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia. Flying solo or with her husband, Jim Mollison, she set numerous long-distance records during the 1930s. She flew in the Second World War as a part of the Air Transport Auxiliary and died during a ferry flight.

Colonel (Noel) Andrew Croft
1906 - 1998
Colonel (Noel) Andrew Croft, DSO, OBE had a diverse and distinguished career as Arctic explorer, SOE agent behind the German lines during World War II and latterly as reforming Commandant both of the Plymouth-based Infantry Boys’ Battalion and thereafter the Army Apprentices School at Harrogate. Colonel Croft was invited by then Commissioner, Sir Joseph Simpson, to (re-) create a Cadet Corps for the Metropolitan Police.

Eric Earle Shipton CBE
1907 - 1977
Eric Earle Shipton CBE was a distinguished English Himalayan mountaineer. Having made the first ascent of Kamet, at that time the highest mountain ever climbed, in 1931, his four attempts on Mount Everest (1933, 1935, 1936, 1938) established him as the foremost Himalayan climber of the day. His distaste for large expeditions is said to have cost him the leadership of the successful 1953 Everest expedition, for which he surveyed the route, publishing The Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition in 1952. Nanda Devi (1936), an account of the exploration of the approaches to Nanda Devi, is among the most highly regarded mountaineering books of the century. Among Shipton's other publications is the autobiographical That Untravelled World (1973).

Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs
1908 - 1999
Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs was an English geologist and explorer. His thesis on the tectonics (i.e., crustal structure) of the Rift Valley earned him a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Cambridge in 1935. Selected to head the Falkland Islands Dependencies Surveys in 1947, Fuchs became interested in Antarctica. In 1958 his 12-man party completed the first land journey across Antarctica, enduring severe hardships to travel 2,158 miles (3,473 km) from the Filchner Ice Shelf to McMurdo Sound in 99 days. The findings of the expedition confirmed earlier theories that a single continental landmass exists beneath the Antarctic polar ice sheet. With Sir Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand explorer, he co-authored the book The Crossing of Antarctica (1958). Fuchs later ran the British Antarctic Survey (1958–73 and he was knighted in 1958.

Wilfred Thesiger
1910 - 2003
Thesiger is best known for his travel books Arabian Sands (1959), on his foot and camel crossing of the Empty Quarter of Arabia, and The Marsh Arabs (1964), on his time living in the marshes of Iraq with the Marsh Arabs. He donated his collection of 38,000 travel photographs to the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. He is best remembered for his Arabian expeditions. In 1945, an entomologist, O.B. Lean, acting on behalf of the Middle East Anti Locust Unit (MEALU), hired Thesiger to search for locust breeding grounds in southern Arabia. This led to two crossings of the great Arabian desert, the Rub al Khali or Empty Quarter, and travels in inner Oman.

Sir Christian John Storey Bonington
1934 -
Sir Chris Bonington, CVO, CBE, DL is a British mountaineer. His career has included nineteen expeditions to the Himalayas, including four to Mount Everest and the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna. Bonington was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1976 in recognition of the previous year's successful ascent of Everest and was knighted in 1996 for his services to the sport. He was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 2010 Birthday Honours for his services to the Outward Bound Trust.

Sir Walter William ‘Wally’ Herbert
1934 - 2007
Sir Walter William ‘Wally’ Herbert was a British polar explorer, writer and artist. In 1969 he became the first man fully recognized for walking to the North Pole, on the 60th anniversary of Robert Peary's famous, but disputed, expedition. He was described by Sir Ranulph Fiennes as ‘the greatest polar explorer of our time’. During the course of his polar career, which spanned more than 50 years, he spent 15 years in the wilderness regions of the polar world. He travelled with dog teams and open boats well over 23,000 miles – more than half of that distance through unexplored areas. Among his several books, which he illustrated, were works dealing with polar exploration. He also had solo exhibitions of his drawings and paintings. In 2000 he was knighted for his polar achievements.

Doug Scott
1941 -
Doug Scott CBE is an English mountaineer noted for the first ascent of the south-west face of Mount Everest on 24 September 1975. During this expedition, Scott and Dougal Haston became the first Britons to climb Everest (discounting Mallory and Irvine). In receiving one of mountaineering's highest honours, the Piolet d'Or Lifetime Achievement Award, his personal style and climbs were described as ‘visionary’. Over the years he has been on 40 expeditions to the high mountains of Asia, during which he made some 30 first ascents.

Doug Allan
1951 -
Douglas ‘Doug’ Allan is a Scottish wildlife cameraman and photographer best known for his work in polar regions and underwater. Allan is one of twin brothers born in Dunfermline in Scotland, the son of a photographer and photojournalist who ran his own photography shop in the town. As a child Allan became a keen snorkeller and underwater diver, which inspired him to study marine biology at the University of Stirling. His first job was as a pearl diver with Bill Abernathy, the last pearl hunter in Scotland.

Robert Charles Swan, OBE, FRGS
1956 -
Robert Charles Swan is the first person to walk to both Poles. He was born on 28 July 1956 in Durham, England and attended Aysgarth School and then Sedbergh School (1969– 1974) before completing a BA degree in Ancient History (1976–1979) at St Chad's College, Durham University. He is currently an advocate for the protection of Antarctica and renewable energy. Swan is also the founder of 2041, a company which is dedicated to the preservation of the Antarctic and the author with Gil Reavill of Antarctica 2041: My Quest to Save the Earth's Last Wilderness.

Sir Robin Knox Johnston
1939 -
Sir Robin was the first person to sail single handed and non-stop around the world between 14 June 1968 and 22 April 1969. One of nine sailors to compete in the Times Golden Globe Race, Sir Robin set off from Falmouth, with no sponsorship. Among many other races, in 2007 Sir Robin has circumnavigated again in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race at the age of 68.

Benedict Allen
1960 -
Benedict Allen is a writer, traveller and adventurer known for his technique of immersion among indigenous peoples from whom he acquires survival skills for hazardous journeys through unfamiliar terrain. In 2010, Allen was elected a Trustee of the Royal Geographical Society. He has recorded six TV series for the BBC, either alone or with partial or total use of camera crews, and pioneered the use of the head-held camera for TV, for the first time allowing viewers to witness immersion of a traveller in remote environments without the artifice brought about by a camera-crew.

Pen Hadow
1962 -
Pen Hadow is an Arctic Ocean explorer, advocate, adventurer and guide. He is the only person to have trekked solo, and without resupply by third parties, from Canada to the North Geographic Pole; and is the first Briton to have trekked, without resupply by third parties, to both the North and South Geographic Poles from the respective continental coastlines of North America and Antarctica respectively. Pen also led the multi award- winning $10m international research programme, Catlin Arctic Survey (2007-2012).

Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Edward Henry Worsley MBE
1960 - 2016
Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Edward Henry Worsley MBE was a British explorer and British Army officer. He was part of the successful 2009 expedition that retraced Ernest Shackleton's footsteps in the Antarctic. He died in 2016 while attempting to complete the first solo and unaided crossing of the Antarctic. Attempting to be the first person to cross Antarctica on foot, unassisted and unsupported, he crossed more than 900 miles and was forced, by exhaustion and ill health, to call for help 30 miles from his journey’s intended end. Rescued and flown to a hospital in Punta Arenas, in the Patagonia region of southern Chile, he was given a diagnosis of peritonitis, and died. He was 55. He was awarded the Polar medal posthumously

Dr. Helen Patricia Sharman OBE FRSC
1963 -
Dr. Helen Patricia Sharman OBE FRSC is a British chemist who became the first British astronaut and the first woman to visit the Mir space station in 1991. Sharman received a BSc in chemistry at the University of Sheffield in 1984 and a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London. She worked as a research and development technologist for GEC in London and later as a chemist for Mars Incorporated dealing with flavourant properties of chocolate.

Major Timothy Nigel ‘Tim’ Peake CMG
1972 -
Major Timothy Nigel ‘Tim’ Peake CMG is a British Army Air Corps officer, European Space Agency astronaut and a former International Space Station (ISS) crew member. He is the first British ESA astronaut, the second astronaut to bear a British flag patch (the first was Helen Sharman), the sixth person born in the United Kingdom to go on board the International Space Station (the first was NASA astronaut Michael Foale in 2003) and the seventh UK-born person in space (the first was Helen Sharman, who visited Mir as part of Project Juno in 1991). He began the ESA's intensive astronaut basic training course in September 2009 and graduated on 22 November 2010.

Dame Ellen Patricia MacArthur
1976 -
Dame Ellen Patricia MacArthur, DBE is a successful solo long-distance yachtswoman. On 7 February 2005 she broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, a feat which gained her international renown. Following her retirement from professional sailing on 2 September 2010, MacArthur announced the launch of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity that works with business and education to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Alex Thomson
1974 -
British sailor Alex Thomson is one of the world’s most accomplished solo offshore sailors. Competing in the high speed, extreme IMOCA 60 class, Thomson has broken multiple records and achieved countless accolades throughout his decorated career to date. The youngest skipper ever to win a round-the-world yacht race, Thomson also holds the British solo, unassisted round-the-world monohull record, which he set in 2017 when he finished the gruelling Vendée Globe race – ‘the Everest of sailing’ – in just 74 days, 19 hours, 35 minutes.

Professor Brian Cox
1968 -
Arguably the UK’s best known experimental physicist, Professor Brian Cox’s books and TV programmes have been read and watched around the world and credited with making science engaging and accessible to millions. With his down to earth, likeable enthusiasm, Brian is frequently labelled a ‘rock star scientist’. Brian Cox is a Royal Society University Research Fellow based in the Particle Physics group at the University of Manchester, where he holds the chair in Particle Physics. He is known for his involvement in BBC science programmes and is a popular TV and radio presenter.

Jane Goodall
1934 -
Jane Goodall is known for her years of living among chimpanzees in Tanzania to create one of the most trailblazing studies of primates in modern times. The general public was introduced to Jane Goodall's life work via Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees, first broadcast on American television on December 22, 1965. Filmed by her first husband, and narrated by Orson Welles, the documentary showed the shy but determined young English woman patiently watching these animals in their natural habitat, and the chimpanzees soon became a staple of American and British public television. A highly respected member of the world scientific community, she advocates for ecological preservation through the Jane Goodall Institute.