The final of the BBC’s ICONS: The Greatest Person of the 20th Century will be broadcast live at 9.00pm tonight.
The eight-part history series profiled 28 great people from seven different fields of human endeavour including leaders, explorers, scientists, entertainers, activists, sports stars, and artists and writers. Seven panels of experts were asked to create a shortlist of four iconic individuals for each of the respective categories, based on positive achievement and legacy, the degree of recognition by a British audience, and a spread of individuals across the century.
The Society’s Dr Sarah L. Evans sat on the expert panel for the explorers category, which resulted in Sir Ernest Shackleton, Gertrude Bell, Neil Armstrong and Dr Jane Goodall being selected. She said: “The final shortlist really showcases all the different aspects of what we mean when we talk about exploration, whether that’s stories of heroic survival in desperately challenging environments; contending with the complicated and messy imperial and national legacies of exploration; highlighting the importance of collective shared endeavour; or emphasising the close relationship between science and exploration.”
In the end it was Sir Ernest Shackleton and his tale of Endurance that resulted in him being the category winner for explorers in episode two. The other category winners are: Nelson Mandela (leaders), Alan Turing (scientists), David Bowie (entertainers), Martin Luther King Jr (activists), Muhammed Ali (sports stars) and Pablo Picasso (artists and writers).
Tonight the seven winners go head to head in the live final, with a public vote to decide who the greatest person of the 20th century is. Votes can be cast online or by telephone and the winner will be announced at the end of the show.
Find out more about ICONS.
The Society is delighted to be continuing our Data Skills in Geography project in 2019, thanks to additional funding from the Nuffield Foundation.
Our Director Professor Joe Smith discusses his plans to take the Society forward over the coming years in an episode of ‘Direct Talk’, aired by Japan’s public broadcaster NHK World.
This month has seen the issue of air pollution consistently hitting the headlines.
Our next lecture exclusively for School Members is on the carbon cycle and takes place on 6 February at 5.00pm.
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