Michael Faraday with Matt Brown - 32 Londoners 2014

Matt Brown on MICHAEL FARADAY - Scientist, b.1791, Southwark

On May the 1st 2014, the EDF Energy London Eye hosted a unique event where each of its 32 capsules was given over to a talk by a well-known authority on a famous Londoner. To commemorate the occasion, this podcast series has been made of all the talks.

Michael Faraday was born only a short walk from where the London Eye now stands. His family wasn't well off, and Faraday was largely self-educated. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a bookbinder, but through attending lectures at the Royal Institution he managed to become assistant to the chemist Sir Humphry Davy. Over the following years through a combination of persistence, hard graft and a curiosity in the world around him, he became one of the greatest scientists of his era. His groundbreaking experiments with electricity and magnetism changed the face of science and, indeed, the streets of London. He discovered the principle of electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis. The SI unit of capacitance, the farad, is named in his honour. He died in 1867 and is buried in Highgate Cemetery. 

Matt Brown is managing editor of Londonist, a website about London and everything in it. He was formerly an editor at Nature Publishing Group specialising in London's scientific endeavours. As a regular quizmaster and trivia buff, expect a talk filled with unusual anecdotes and 'I never knew that' moments.