Science has always been a craft-based activity and the best scientists tend quite literally to be “hands on”. […] Gentlemen do not get their hands dirty in that way. So the greatest of British scientists have tended to be from the fringes of the UK, geographically or socially. The two towering figures of 19th-century British science were Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell. Faraday, Mrs Thatcher’s favourite scientist, was the son of a blacksmith and an adherent to an obscure religious sect, the Sandemanians. Maxwell, the brilliant theoretical physicist, was a Scot.
The Secret Sex Life of Marie Curie and the personal dimension of practitioners of science.