Francis Grant Ogilvie

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This article is about the Scottish scientist. For the Governor of East Florida, see Francis Ogilvie (British Army officer).

Sir Francis Grant Ogilvie CB (8 August 1858 – 14 December 1930) was a Scottish scientist and museum curator.

Ogilvie was born in Aberdeen, the eldest son of the Reverend Alexander Ogilvie, headmaster of Robert Gordon's College. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen (MA) and the University of Edinburgh (BSc) and then became Assistant Professor of Natural Philosophy at Aberdeen. He then taught science at Robert Gordon's College for four years before being appointed Principal of Heriot-Watt College, Edinburgh in 1886. He also initially served as Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at the college.

In 1900, he was appointed Director of the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art. He later joined the museums branch of the Board of Education and became Director of the Science Museum in London in 1911, retiring in 1920. He was also chairman of the Geological Survey Board from 1920 to 1930.

Ogilvie was commissioned Lieutenant in the 1st Aberdeenshire Engineer Volunteer Corps in 1883 and transferred to the Forth Division of Volunteer Submarine Miners (later part of the Royal Engineers) as a Captain in 1887. He retired as a Major in 1900.

During the First World War, Ogilvie served as Assistant Controller of the Trench Warfare Research Department from 1915 to 1917 and of the Chemical Warfare Department from 1917 to 1918.

He was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1906 and knighted in the 1920 New Year Honours.[1]

Ogilvie was suddenly taken ill on a train between London and Edinburgh while travelling to visit relatives and died a few hours after arriving in Edinburgh.

Ogilvie's younger sister, Dame Maria Gordon, was also an eminent scientist in the fields of geology and palaeontology.

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Cultural offices
Preceded by
William Isaac Last
Director of the Science Museum
1911–1920
Succeeded by
Colonel Sir Henry Lyons