Scotland

John Murray and the Oceanography

John Murray and the Oceanography

On March 3, 1841, pioneering Scottish oceanographer, marine biologist and limnologist Sir John Murray was born. As one of its founders, coined the name oceanography. He studied ocean basins, deep-sea deposits, and coral-reef formation. As a marine scientist, he took part in the Challenger Expedition (1872–76), the first major oceanographic expedition of the world. John Murray – Early Years John Murray was born in Coburg, Ontario as the second son of Elizabeth Macfarlane…
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Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots

On February 18, (or February 8 according to the old Julian calendar), 1587,  Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed after having found guilty of plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. In the Western world, we all might have heard about the rivalry of Queen Elizabeth I [5] and Mary, Queen of Scots. I have learned about the story back at high school in my German lessons, when we were reading Friedrich Schillers ‘Maria…
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John Boyd Dunlop and the Inflatable Tire

John Boyd Dunlop and the Inflatable Tire

On December 7, 1888, Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop patented the pneumatic or inflatable tire. His invention is considered one of the basic building blocks of the automobile manufacturing industry. Today, over 1 billion tires are produced annually in over 400 tire factories. John Dunlop Background John Boyd Dunlop was born in 1840 on a farm in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, Scotland, what is now the eastern outskirts of the town of Irvine. Already…
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John Duns Scotus – the Subtle Doctor

John Duns Scotus – the Subtle Doctor

On November 8, 1308, Scottish Catholic priest and Franciscan friar, university professor, philosopher, and theologian John Duns aka Duns Scotus passed away. He is one of the three most important philosopher-theologians of Western Europe in the High Middle Ages, together with Thomas Aquinas [1] and William of Ockham.[2] Amongst others, he is best known for the “univocity of being”, that existence is the most abstract concept we have, applicable to everything that exists;…
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Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations

On June 16, 1723 (June 5 according to the old Julian calendar), Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy Adam Smith was born. He is one of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment and is best known for two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) “Among civilized and thriving nations, on the contrary,…
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The Incredible Story of Robinson Crusoe

The Incredible Story of Robinson Crusoe

On May, 6, 1719 (julian calendar, April 25), Daniel Defoe‘s famous novel ‘Robinson Crusoe‘ was published under the title ‘The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With…
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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 – Early Years…
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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). Family Background and Early Years George Combe was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in a large family with thirteen surviving children to George Combe, a prosperous brewer in the city. After attending the High School…
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Alexander Todd and the Chemistry of Nucleotide Coenzymes

Alexander Todd and the Chemistry of Nucleotide Coenzymes

On October 2, 1907, British chemist and Nobel laureate Alexander Robertus Todd, Baron Todd was born. Todd‘s research on the structure and synthesis of nucleotides, nucleosides, and nucleotide coenzymes gained him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Youth and Education 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…
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