Obituary | Published:

Prof. A. Crum Brown, F.R.S

Nature volume 110, page 673 (18 November 1922) | Download Citation



ALEXANDER CRUM BROWN was born at Edinburgh on March 26, 1838. His father was Dr. John Brown, minister of Broughton Place United Presbyterian Church; his mother was a sister of Walter Crum, a chemist of distinction. Educated at the Royal High School and at the University of Edinburgh, he graduated as M.A. in 1858 and as M.D. in 186i. In the following year he was awarded the D.Sc. degree of London, and thereafter studied in Germany under Bunsen and Kolbe. Returning to Scotland in 1863, he began his career in Edinburgh as an extra-mural lecturer in chemistry. For six years he taught small classes of medical students and busied himself with research. On the election of Prof. Lyon Playfair in 1869 to represent the University in Parliament, Crum Brown was appointed to succeed him in the chair of chemistry. The department placed under his charge was at first purely medical, but during his tenure it gradually changed its character, and at his retirement in r908 had become one of the chief departments in the Faculty of Science.

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