A dazzling English scientist who worked on everything; it’s far easier to list the fields he wasn’t involved in. He’s particularly famous as a mathematician and logician, but also in metaphysics, epistemology and linguistics. He was one of the founders of analytic philosophy: an objective knowledge of the world is only possible if science and philosophy are based entirely on the mighty structure of formal logic. As social commentator and public figure, he subjected the totalitarian Marxist regime to harsh criticism. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was an agnostic who claimed he could no more deny the existence of the Christian God as he could the multitude of gods in the pagan Pantheon. Religion was bad for people, as it inhibited knowledge, suppressed individuality, fuelled fear and dependency and was responsible for a significant proportion of wars, oppression and poverty.