George Watt (botanist)
He was born in Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the third son of John Watt. He was educated at Grammar School, King's College and Marischal College, Aberdeen, and later attended both the University of Aberdeen and the University of Glasgow, eventually graduating as a Doctor of Medicine. He accepted the post Professor of Botany, Calcutta University, 1873-74 in order to facilitate his botanical interests.
Other duties that he undertook during his time in India included special duty in connection with Burma-Manipur Boundary Commission as Medical Officer, 1882; Scientific Assistant Secretary, Government of India, 1881; in charge of the India Section of the Calcutta International Exhibition, 1884; Commissioner, Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1885–86; Reporter to Government of India on Economic Products, 1887–1903; Governor of Imperial Institute, 1892; Editor, The Agricultural Ledger, 1892–1903; President, Pharmacological Section of the Indian Medical Congress, 1894; in charge of Calcutta Industrial Museum, 1894-03; Honorary Secretary, Indigenous Drug Committee of India, 1901; Director, Indian Art Exhibition, Delhi, 1903.
His Dictionary of the Commercial Products of India (1889–90) in ten volumes is perhaps the greatest compilation of commercial plants in India ever achieved, in terms of the range and depth. The compilation includes description of non-agricultural plants.
Other achievements: Officier d'Academe; Corresponding Member, Royal Horticultural Society: Fellow, Royal Society, Haarlem; President, Richmond Athenæum, 1907.
One rhododendron (Rhododendron wattii) has been named after him.
1. B Watt, Sir George. Dictionary of the Commercial Products of India, 1889–1890, 10 volumes, Calcutta and London.
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