Scotland

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…
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…
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…
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. Andrew Noble was commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1849. He later became secretary of the Royal Artillery Institution. Noble was secretary…
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,…
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,…
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,…
Physicist Sir John Leslie

Physicist Sir John Leslie

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…
R. D. Laing and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement

R. D. Laing and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement

On August 23, 1989, Scottish psychiatrist Ronald David Laing passed away. Laing is noted for his alternative approach to the treatment of schizophrenia. His first book, The Divided Self, was an attempt to explain schizophrenia by using existentialist philosophy to vividly portray the inner world of a schizophrenic, which Laing presented as an attempt to live in an unlivable situation. Laing’s views on the causes and treatment of serious mental…
David Douglas and the Douglas Fir

David Douglas and the Douglas Fir

On June 25 1799, Scottish botanist David Douglas was born. Douglas was one of the most successful of the great 19th century plant collectors. Today, he is best known as the namesake of the Douglas fir. He worked as a gardener, and explored the Scottish Highlands, North America, and Hawaii, where he died. David Douglas was apprenticed to the head gardener at Scone Palace, the seat of the Earl of Mansfield and spent…
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