britannica

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Science Britannica - Episode 2 - ‘Method And Madness’

"On the 28th March, 1726, a coffin was carried into Westminster Abbey. In it, was the body of a man who had held high office, although he wasn’t a politician. He had had men hanged, although he wasn’t a member of the judiciary, and he had written extensively on the scriptures, although he was no cleric or priest. His coffin was carried by the Lord Chancellor, two dukes, and three earls.

That man, was Isaac Newton.

To be buried in Westminster Abbey was an honour usually reserved for kings and nobles, not commoners like Newton. But Newton was no ordinary man.

Newton was the first ‘natural philosopher’, or scientist as we now call him, to be honoured in this way, but he certainly wasn’t the last.

It’s perhaps no coincidence that a country that honours its leading scientists in this way has produced far more than its fair share of trailblazers and innovators.”

-Professor Brian Cox