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The map that changed the world

Episode 17

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Smith mapIn the decade since it was first published, Simon Winchester's 'The map that changed the world' has cemented the reputation of William Smith as one of the most influential scientists in Britain's history. Born in a small village in Oxfordshire, Smith went on to create the first accurate geological map of a nation, contributing to the industrial revolution and pioneering the science of stratigraphy.

Simon has published many other books, on subjects ranging from Krakatoa to Lexicography, which combine scientific, social and human stories. On the occasion of receiving the Distinguished Service Medal of the Geological Society, and in the second of our series focusing on the geology of the UK, he spoke to Sarah about his writing career, William Smith's contribution to British history, and what he plans to write next.