Scotland

Alexander Fleming and the Accidental Discovery of Penicillin

Alexander Fleming and the Accidental Discovery of Penicillin

On September 3, 1928, Scottish pharmacologist Alexander Fleming by chance and because of his notorious untidyness discovered Penicillin. “One sometimes finds, what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I suppose that was exactly what I did.” — Alexander Fleming [11] Alexander Fleming was born on August…
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The Tragedy of MacBeth and its Historical Background

The Tragedy of MacBeth and its Historical Background

On August 14, 1040 AD, Mac Bethad mac Findlaích, Mormaer of Moray, today better known as Macbeth, killed the Scottish King Duncan I. to become the new King of Scotland. But, he has to commit further murder to maintain his power. So far the story goes. Most of the rest we know from Shakespeare‘s adaptation of the historical events is merely pure fiction.[2,3] Macbeth’s life, like that of his predecessor King Duncan…
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George Combe and the Phrenological Movement

George Combe and the Phrenological Movement

On October 21, 1788, Scottish lawyer and the leader of the phrenological movement George Combe was born. Combe founded the Edinburgh Phrenological Society in 1820 and was the author of the highly influential The Constitution of Man (1828). George Combe was born in Edinburgh, in a large family with thirteen surviving children to George Combe, a prosperous brewer in the city. After attending the High School of Edinburgh and the University of…
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Alexander R. Todd and the Nucleotide Coenzymes

Alexander R. Todd and the Nucleotide Coenzymes

On October 2, 1907, British chemist and Nobel laureate Alexander Robertus Todd, Baron Todd was born. Todd‘s esearch on the structure and synthesis of nucleotides, nucleosides, and nucleotide coenzymes gained him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Alexander R. Todd was born near Glasgow, Scotland, the elder son of Alexander Todd, a business man of that city, and his wife Jean Lowrie. In 1918 Todd gained admission to the Allan Glen’s School in…
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John Boyd Orr and his Nutrition Research

John Boyd Orr and his Nutrition Research

On September 23, 1880, Scottish teacher, doctor, biologist and politician John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd-Orr was born. Boyd Orr received the Nobel Peace Prize for his scientific research into nutrition and his work as the first Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to eliminate world hunger. John Boyd Orr won a Queen’s Scholarship to study at a teacher training college in Glasgow when he was 19 years old.…
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Sir Andrew Noble and the Science of Ballistics

Sir Andrew Noble and the Science of Ballistics

On September 13, 1831, Scottish physicist Andrew Noble was born. Noble was a gunnery expert, known as a founder of the science of ballistics. He invented the chronoscope, a device for measuring very small time intervals, and used it to measure the velocity of shot in gun barrels. Born at Greenock, Andrew Noble was educated at Edinburgh Academy and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1849.…
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Thomas Telford – the Colossus of Roads

Thomas Telford – the Colossus of Roads

On August 9, 1757, Scottish civil engineer, architect and stonemason Thomas Telford was born. After establishing himself as an engineer of road and canal projects in Shropshire, he designed numerous infrastructure projects in his native Scotland, as well as harbors and tunnels. Such was his reputation as a prolific designer of highways and related bridges, he was dubbed The Colossus of Roads (a pun on the Colossus of Rhodes), and, reflecting his…
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Sir David Bruce and the Malta Fever

Sir David Bruce and the Malta Fever

On May 29, 1855, Scottish pathologist and microbiologist Sir David Bruce was born. Bruce investigated Malta fever (later called brucellosis in his honour) and African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals). He discovered the first protozoan parasite transmitted by insects, which was later named Trypanosoma brucei after him. David Bruce was born in Melbourne, Australia, to David Bruce, a Scottish engineer and his wife Jane Russell Hamilton, who had…
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James David Forbes and the Conduction of Heat

James David Forbes and the Conduction of Heat

On April 20, 1809, Scottish physicist and glaciologist James David Forbes was born. Forbes worked extensively on the conduction of heat and seismology. He conducted experiments on the temperature of the Earth at different depths and in different soils near Edinburgh. Later he investigated the laws of heat conduction in bars and invented the seismometer. James David Forbes was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the fourth son of Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet,…
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John Leslie’s Research in Heat and Capillary Action

John Leslie’s Research in Heat and Capillary Action

On April 10, 1766, Scottish mathematician and physicist Sir John Leslie was born. Leslie is best remembered for his research into heat. He gave the first modern account of capillary action in 1802 and froze water using an air-pump in 1810, the first artificial production of ice. John Leslie entered the University of St Andrews and studied Divinity at Edinburgh University starting from 1784. During the following years Leslie worked as a…
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