Scotland Doctors and Natural Scientists

You can find the Nobel Prize winners from all over Great Britain at Goruma here >>>

Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)
speech therapist, inventor of the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh in 1847, where he later studied. His father was a teacher for deaf people, among others. Bell was fascinated by everything to do with telephony from a young age. Together with his assistant Thomas Watson, he invented the first telephone that could be used in everyday life and was granted a patent for it in 1876. Furthermore, his name stands for one of the best language experts in America at the time. Bell died, receiving several awards, in Canada in 1922.

Joseph Black (1728-1799)
chemist, physicist. Joseph Black was born in Bordeaux, France in 1728, but is considered a Scot. He completed his studies at the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, where he later also worked as a professor. Black is the discoverer of carbon dioxide (1757). Furthermore, he is traded as one of the pioneers of exact pneumatic chemistry and is listed as the discoverer of magnesium. He was also responsible for the discovery of so-called heat capacity. The scientist died in Edinburgh in 1799.

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910),
medical doctor. Elizabeth Blackwell was born in Bristol in 1821 and died in Kilmun in 1910. When she was eleven, she emigrated to the United States with her parents and was allowed to study medicine there after long struggles. In 1849 she was the first female doctor in the USA to graduate and advocated preventive medicine (“prevention is better than cure”) worldwide. After her return to the island in 1871 she founded the “National Health Society”, the forerunner of today’s NHS. She also fought for the first time and at the forefront of health policy.

David Brewster
Physicist and inventor. Sir David Brewster was born in Jedburgh in 1781 and studied at the University of Edinburgh. The inventor of the kaleidoscope and the dioptric stereoscope then worked as a professor at the renowned Saint Andrews University. In 1815 he made a name for himself in the field of optics when he worked out a law named after him about the reflection of light at a certain angle (Brewster’s law). Brewster died in Allerly in 1868.

James Bruce
Astronomer, botanist, ornithologist. Born in Kinnaird in 1730 as James Bruce of Kinnaird, the gifted descendant of Scottish nobility boasted a command of 11 languages. After studying law, he traveled a lot, especially through Africa, and then wrote his main 5-volume work “Travels to discover the sources of the Nile”. Bruce, who is considered the discoverer of the Blue Nile and became Algerian consul in 1762, died in his native city in 1794.

James Alfred Ewing (1855-1935)
physicist and engineer. Sir James Alfred Ewing was born in Dundee in 1855 and studied in Edinburgh. He is considered to be the inventor of the term hysteresis, which is mainly used in cybernetics and has to do with constant states of substances. He also developed seismographs and the Parsons turbine. Ewing also worked as a professor of technical mechanics in Tokyo before he died in 1935.

John Kerr (1824-1907)
physicist. John Kerr was born in Ardrossan in 1824 and studied in Glasgow, where he later taught mathematics. In his research into magnetic fields and electromagnetic voltages, he discovered the so-called electro-optical Kerr effect in 1875, from which the Kerr cell emerged to convert voltage fluctuations. Two years later, the magneto-optical Kerr effect was added. The physicist died in Glasgow in 1907.

John Leslie (1766-1832)
mathematician and physicist. Sir John Leslie was born in Largo in 1766. The scientist, who worked as a professor of mathematics and later of natural philosophy, dealt intensively with heat transfer and heat flow. He was the first to scientifically explain the phenomenon of the lake layers on the basis of studies of density, warmth, etc. This was followed by the accolade. Leslie died near Largos in 1832.

James Lind (1716-1794)
physician. James Lind was born in Edinburgh in 1716 and completed his apprenticeship with a respected surgeon. He later discovered how citrus fruits can prevent scurvy as a doctor for the British Royal Navy. He is also considered one of the pioneers in the field of medical hygiene. After the Navy, Lind practiced in Edinburgh. The member of the Edinburgh Royal College of Doctors died in Gosport in 1794.

James Bowman Lindsay (1799-1862)
physicist, inventor. James Bowman Lindsay was born in Angus in 1799 with a thirst for knowledge that enabled him to carry out complex scientific work without having to register for a course of study. This made him a lecturer in the fields of mathematics and electricity. He is also considered to be the inventor of the incandescent lamp forerunner (not yet suitable for everyday use) in 1835. The invention of underwater telegraphy is also on his research account. Lindsay died in Dundee in 1862.

Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister
Surgeon. Joseph Lister was born in Upton in 1827 and went down in history as the father of antiseptic surgery. First he studied art in London, then medicine. His name is mentioned today at the same time as Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur, who in turn are recorded in the annals as the fathers of bacteriology. The highly honored researcher has worked as a Regius Professor in the field of surgery in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Lister died in Walmer in 1912.

Patrick Manson (1844-1922)
medical doctor. Patrick Manson was born in Aberdeenshire in 1844 and studied medicine in Aberdeen. Working as a doctor in Asia, he was able to prove that the malaria disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. This made him the father of tropical medicine. He also experimented and researched in the field of sleeping sickness. Manson, who founded a medical school in Hong Kong that later became the university of the Asian city, died in London in 1922.

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)
physicist. Maxwell, whose real name was James Clerk, was born in Edinburgh in 1831, where he initially studied. He later moved to Cambridge University. In 1861 he published the world’s first color photography. He also founded Maxwell’s equations, which are still the basis for electricity and magnetism. He died in Cambridge in 1879.

John Muir (1838-1914)
naturalist, geologist, polymath. John Muir was born in Dunbar in 1838 and emigrated to the United States with his family eleven years later. There he became one of the most famous men in America, an environmentalist and influential scientist. He was called the “father of our national parks” and made it clear to then President Roosevelt how important nature conservation was. Wilderness reserves, glaciers, schools and universities were named after Muir. He died in Los Angeles in 1914.

John Napier, Laird of Merchiston Napier (1550-1617)
mathematician. John Napier was born to nobles near Edinburgh in 1550 and studied at St Andrews University. The scholar is considered to be the inventor of the calculator, which made it easy to multiply numbers for the first time. The namesake of a university in Edinburgh also discovered the logarithms. Napier died in 1617 at his birthplace at Merchiston Castle.

John Pringle (1707-1782)
physician, scholar. Sir John Pringle was born to noblemen in Stichill in 1707 and studied at both St Andrews University and the College of Leiden. As a military doctor, sepsis and asepsis became the core of his research, so that he made history as a pioneer of modern military pharmacy. These topics also preoccupied him as a professor of moral philosophy. Pringle, who was elected President of the Royal Society in 1772, died ten years later in London.

James Young Simpson (1811-1870)
physician. James Young Simpson was born in Bathgate in 1811 and taught as a professor of obstetrics in Edinburgh. Simpson was the man who discovered chloroform and introduced it for anesthetic purposes in 1847. From Queen Victoria, whom he anesthetized with chloroform when giving birth to her ninth child, he was raised to the status of a baron. A monument in the form of a bronze statue in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh was dedicated to him. Simpson died there in 1870.

William Smellie (1740-1795)
encyclopedist and naturalist. William Smellie was born near Edinburgh in 1740 and quenched his adolescent thirst for knowledge by attending university lectures without matriculating. The trained printer later became the first editor of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1768-1771), which is still renowned today. One of his own works was his highly acclaimed “Philosophy of Natural History” from 1799. Smellie died in Edinburgh in 1795. He is said to have had gross motor skills.

Robert Alexander Watson-Watt (1892-1973)
physicist. Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt was born in Aberdeenshire in 1892 and studied at what is now the University of Dundee. He went down in history as a leader in radar technology research during World War II and was a pioneer in aircraft tracking. At that time he was operating in the USA. Its discovery made it possible to target the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ahead of time. Watson-Watt died in Iverness in 1973.

Robert Alexander Watson-Watt