Most Inspirational Briton
Stephen Hawking has been named the “Most inspirational Briton” in a survey of 2,000 adults conducted for innovation specialists, MPA Group.
Participants in the poll were asked to name the people who have inspired them most and why.
Theoretical physicist and author of A Brief History of Time, the late Stephen Hawking, was named as the most inspirational by 41 per cent of respondents. Fifty-five percent of respondents additionally indicated he was their first choice because he “stood out from the crowd”, with 54 per cent indicating he was selected for inspiring an entire generation of people.
Many of those polled additionally expressed their admiration for the way in which Hawkins had overcame tremendous physical challenges to achieve success in his chosen field.
Natural historian and national treasure, Sir David Attenborough, was ranked in second place, with over a third (36 per cent) of participants voting for him. An overwhelming 70 per cent of his supporters also mentioned that he had inspired a generation to appreciate the harm single-use plastic is causing to marine life around the world through BBC Earth’s Blue Planet II documentary series.
Florence Nightingale was named the most inspirational woman, attracting 33 per cent of the votes. Sixty-five per cent of those who selected Nightingale recognised her role in providing nursing services during, and in the period following, the Crimean War.
Top 20 most inspirational Britons:
- Stephen Hawking (41%)
- Sir David Attenborough (36%)
- Isaac Newton (35%)
- Florence Nightingale (33%)
- Charles Darwin (32%)
- Sir Alexander Fleming (31%)
- Alexander Graham Bell (30%)
- Winston Churchill (30%)
- William Shakespeare (27%)
- Emmeline Pankhurst (24%)
- John Logie Baird (23%)
- Alan Turing (22%)
- Charles Dickens (21%)
- George Stephenson (20%)
- Diana, Princess of Wales (18%)
- Richard Branson (17%)
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee (16%)
- Charles Babbage (14%)
- Margaret Thatcher (14%)
- John Lennon (13%)
Commenting on the results, MPA Group director Mike Price, said:
“As an island, the United Kingdom has been blessed with inspirational figures, both historic and modern. It’s great to see how many British inventors or innovators made the list, and how many of them are continuing to be an inspiration to the younger generations.
“With over 13,000 patent applications filed in 2017, innovation across the country continues to rise, and we are looking forward to seeing which modern British inventors could be added to this list in the next decade.”
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