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Famous Scientists from Scotland

List of notable or famous scientists from Scotland, with bios and photos, including the top scientists born in Scotland and even some popular scientists who immigrated to Scotland. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Scottish scientists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These scientists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known scientist from Scotland is included when available.

Everything from Lyon Playfair, 1st Baron Playfair to James Crichton is included on this list.

This historic scientists from Scotland list can help answer the questions "Who are some Scottish scientists of note?" and "Who are the most famous scientists from Scotland?" These prominent scientists of Scotland may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Scottish scientists.

Use this list of renowned Scottish scientists to discover some new scientists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (32 items)


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    Sir Alexander Fleming, FRSE, FRS, FRCS was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the antibiotic substance penicillin from the mould Penicillium notatum in ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 74 (1881-1955)
    • Birthplace: Lochfield
    • Profession: Pharmacologist, Biologist, Scientist
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    • Profession: Scientist
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    Charles Bruce

    Charles Edward Rhodes Bruce FIEE FInstP was a Scottish electrical engineer and amateur astrophysicist. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 77 (1902-1979)
    • Profession: Scientist, Writer
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    Charles Normand

    Sir Charles William Blyth Normand CIE was a Scottish meteorologist. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 93 (1889-1982)
    • Profession: Scientist
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    Charlotte Auerbach FRS FRSE, known by her friends as 'Lotte', was a German-Jewish zoologist and geneticist who contributed to founding the science of mutagenesis. She became well known after 1942 when she discovered with A. J. Clark and J. M. Robson that mustard gas could cause mutations in fruit flies. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 95 (1899-1994)
    • Birthplace: Krefeld, Germany
    • Profession: Scientist, Writer
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    David Cromwell is a Scottish-born media campaigner and oceanographer. With David Edwards, he is a co-editor of the Media Lens website. Cromwell was born in Glasgow. His mother was a practising Catholic while his father was an activist and communist sympathiser. He spent his formative years in Barrhead ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 53
    • Birthplace: Glasgow, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Journalist, Scientist
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    Sir David Ferrier FRS was a pioneering Scottish neurologist and psychologist. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 85 (1843-1928)
    • Birthplace: Aberdeen, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Scientist, Physician
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    David Forbes Martyn FRS was a Scottish-born Australian physicist and radiographer. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 64 (1906-1970)
    • Birthplace: Cambuslang, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Scientist
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    Ewan Cameron was a Scottish physician who worked with Linus Pauling on Vitamin C research. He received his medical degree from the University of Glasgow in 1944, and immediately joined the British Army, where he served as a medical officer in Burma for three years. Cameron was Consultant Surgeon at Vale ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 69 (1922-1991)
    • Birthplace: Scotland
    • Profession: Scientist, Surgeon
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    George John Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll, KG, KT, PC, FRS, FRSE, styled Marquess of Lorne until 1847, was a Scottish peer and Liberal politician as well as a writer on science, religion, and the politics of the 19th century. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 77 (1823-1900)
    • Birthplace: Ardencaple Castle, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Politician, Scientist, Economist
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    Henry Faulds

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    Henry Faulds was a Scottish physician, missionary and scientist who is noted for the development of fingerprinting. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 87 (1843-1930)
    • Birthplace: Beith, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Scientist
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    J. Norman Collie

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    John Norman Collie FRS, commonly referred to as J. Norman Collie, was a British scientist, mountaineer, and explorer. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 83 (1859-1942)
    • Birthplace: England
    • Profession: Scientist, Mountaineer
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    James Crichton, known as the Admirable Crichton, was a Scottish polymath noted for his extraordinary accomplishments in languages, the arts, and sciences before he was killed at the age of 21. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 22 (1560-1582)
    • Birthplace: Dumfries, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Mathematician, Scientist
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    James Croll, FRS, was a 19th-century Scottish scientist who developed a theory of climate change based on changes in the Earth's orbit. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 69 (1821-1890)
    • Birthplace: Cargill
    • Profession: Scientist
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    Sir James Hall, 4th Baronet

    Sir James Hall of Dunglass, 4th Baronet FRS FRSE was a Scottish geologist and geophysicist, born at Dunglass, East Lothian, to Sir John Hall, 3rd Baronet, by his spouse, Magdalen daughter of Sir Robert Pringle, 3rd Baronet, of Stichill, Roxburghshire. Sir James was also Member of Parliament for St. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 71 (1761-1832)
    • Birthplace: Dunglass
    • Profession: Scientist, Geologist
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    Sir James Hector KCMG was a Scottish geologist, naturalist, and surgeon who accompanied the Palliser Expedition as a surgeon and geologist. He went on to have a lengthy career as a government employed man of science in New Zealand, and during this period he dominated the Colony's scientific institutions ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 73 (1834-1907)
    • Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Scientist, Physician, Geologist
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    Sir James Ivory was a Scottish mathematician. Ivory was born in Dundee, son of James Ivory the renowned clock maker, and attended Dundee Grammar School. In 1779 he entered the University of St Andrews, distinguishing himself especially in mathematics. He then studied theology; but, after two sessions at ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 77 (1765-1842)
    • Birthplace: Dundee, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Mathematician, Scientist
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    James Millar

    James Millar FRSE FRCPE was a Scottish physician, natural scientist and author. He edited the fourth and fifth editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Although a good writer on scientific topics, he was deemed a poor chief editor of the Britannica, being "slow and dilatory and not well qualified". more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 65 (1762-1827)
    • Birthplace: Scotland
    • Profession: Scientist
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    James Short

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    James Short was a Scottish mathematician, optician and telescope maker. Born at Edinburgh in 1710 and originally educated for the church at the Royal High School, Short attracted the attention of Maclaurin, professor of mathematics at the university, who around 1732 gave him permission to use his rooms ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 58 (1710-1768)
    • Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Scientist
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    Joan Curran

    Joan Elizabeth Curran was a Welsh scientist who played important roles in the development of radar and the atomic bomb during the Second World War. She invented the technique that was codenamed Window, which is also known as chaff, which is credited with saving lives by reducing bomber losses. She also ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 83 (1916-1999)
    • Profession: Scientist
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