Edward Divers, F.R.S. (1837–1912)


    AMONG the British men of science and engineers who some sixty years ago laid the foundation of scientific instruction in Japan, none was more highly esteemed than Edward Divers. Born in London on November 27, 1837, he attended the City of London School and then studied under Hofmann at the old College of Chemistry, Oxford Street. He graduated M.D. at Queen's College, Galway, and later was lecturer in materia medica at Queen's College, Birmingham, and in medical jurisprudence at Middlesex Hospital Medical School. In 1873, at the invitation of the Public Works Department of Japan, he, with ten other Englishmen, went to that country to establish a College of Engineering. The first principal of the College was Henry Dyer (1848–1918), but on his return home in 1882, Divers was appointed to succeed him. Later, when the College became a part of the Imperial University, Divers became professor of chemistry in the Department of Science. He remained in Japan until 1899, when he was made emeritus professor. After his retirement, Divers settled in London, where his house became the 'Mecca' of Japanese students visiting England. He received honours from the Japanese Government, and a bronze statue of him was erected in the College courtyard. Most of Divers' original papers were contributed to the Journals of the Chemical Society and Society of Chemical Industry. Of the former society he became a vice-president and of the latter he served as president in 1905–6. He died on April 8, 1912, and was buried at Brookwood.

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    Edward Divers, F.R.S. (1837–1912). Nature 140, 924 (1937). https://doi.org/10.1038/140924a0

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