James Croll (1821–1890) was a gifted scientist whose revolutionary theories had a profound impact on our understanding of the Earth's climate, ice ages and glaciation. While his contributions are recognised by an increasing number of modern-day scientists, in the public domain his legacy has been all but forgotten. Popularising Croll's story brings its own challenges: we know more about the science than we do about the man, and his theories do not lend themselves to quick and easy explanation. While Croll's scientific theories, presented alone, risk being viewed as complex and difficult to digest, his lifelong struggle against adversity is a compelling story with the potential for widespread public appeal. In recent years, interested individuals and institutions have begun to increase public awareness of Croll through talks and lectures, exhibitions, theatrical events and articles in print and online. There are many more possibilities that are worth investigating, in order to inspire and engage people locally, nationally and even internationally. Croll's story is fascinating from many points of view, and is open to interpretation by people of different ages and backgrounds. Perhaps even the gaps in our knowledge can be turned to advantage, allowing for imagination, creativity and expression.