George Wilson (chemist)

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George Wilson

George Wilson (21 February 1818 – 22 November 1859) was Regius Professor of Technology at the University of Edinburgh, and the first Director of the Industrial Museum of Scotland.

Life[edit]

Born in Edinburgh, he was the younger brother of the anthropologist Sir Daniel Wilson. He attended the Royal High School and trained as a doctor at the University, where he completed a doctoral thesis on haloid salts in 1839. He lectured in chemistry at the Royal College of Surgeons from 1840, and was appointed lecturer at the Veterinary College in 1843. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1845, and served as President of Royal Scottish Society of Arts, 1855-1857.

On the establishment of the Industrial Museum of Scotland in 1855, Wilson was appointed its director. He recruited expatriate Scots from around the world to send back specimens for the national collection, and gave many public lectures. Though battling ill health, he served in the directorship for four years until his death.

Tomb of George Wilson in Edinburgh

Works[edit]

Wilson published books and journal articles on the history of science, and was the author of Life of Henry Cavendish (1851) and Researches on Colour-Blindness (1855).

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jesse Aitken Wilson, Memoir of George Wilson. Edinburgh, Edmonston and Douglas, 1860.