Scots may have invented the telephone and television, but as Sean Connery said, "There is no more creative act than creating a new nation."
1.Macbeth is Scotland's most infamous king thanks to William Shakespeare's powerful yet wildly inaccurate portrayal of him as an arch-villain. Actually, the witches in the play were made-up, and he was a fair monarch.
2.In 1694, Dumfries-born William Paterson suggested then co-founded the Bank of England because the nation's public finances were in disarray.
3.With The Wealth of Nations (1776), Adam Smith, the founding father of economics, introduced the concept of the "invisible hand", the idea that self-interested free-market competition without government intervention benefits the whole of society.
4.Written in 1788, Robert Burns' poem "Auld Lang Syne" is sung around the English-speaking world on Hogmanay to bid farewell to the departing year.
6.John Paul Jones, the founder of the US Navy, was born in Kirkcudbrightshire, the son of a gardener, before going to sea at 13. He was commander when the Stars and Stripes was first recognised by a foreign government, in Quiberon, France, in 1778.
9.In 1818, Glaswegian chemist Charles Macintosh invented the first waterproof fabric by placing soluble rubber between two sheets of cloth. His company Mackintosh is still selling coats, starting at £500.
10.Born in Ayr in 1820, engineer John Loudon McAdam invented a new type of hard road surface dubbed Macadamisation to replace muddy soil tracks. When tar was later added to his process, Tarmac was born.
11.Kirkpatrick Macmillan, the inventor of the first bicycle in 1839, was fined 5 shillings in 1842 for "causing a minor injury to a little girl who ran out in front of his contraption".
12.Described by Florence Nightingale as "the greatest man of his generation", the Lanarkshire-born missionary, explorer, and abolitionist David Livingstone was one of the first Europeans to explore central Africa, most famously naming Victoria Falls in 1855.
16.The man who developed the world's first commercial pneumatic rubber tyre in 1888, Dreghorn-born John Boyd Dunlop, patented his invention after designing it to smooth the ride on his son's tricycle.
17.One of Europe's greatest ever architects was the Glasgow-born Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the leading light of Scotland's influential late 19th-century art nouveau movement. His masterpiece, the Glasgow School of Art, was seriously damaged by fire earlier this year.
20.In 1928, Ayrshire-born pharmacologist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillium mould growing on an unwashed Petri dish. The antibiotic penicillin is one of the most important drug advances in history.
21.Born near Stirling in 1898, John Grierson was the first person to use the term "documentary", and established the genre with classic films such as 1936's Night Mail.