Prof. Edward Forbes

1815 - 1854

Scientist. Born at Douglas on the Isle of Man, Forbes gained an interest in natural history as a child. He enrolled as a medical student in the University of Edinburgh in 1832 but he abandoned these studies four years later having been attracted by marine biology, geology and mineralogy. He published a paper on molluscs in 1837 and returned to Edinburgh that same year. Despite his enthusiasm for travel and fieldwork around Europe, lack of money forced him to take on a series of short-term posts with the Geological Society of London, at King's College London, the Geological Survey of Great Britain, at the Royal School of Mines, until finally he was appointed Professor of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh in 1854. He died in Edinburgh just months later and was buried in Dean Cemetery. Forbes had a notable influence on Thomas Huxley, who went on to become a significant biologist and proponent of the theories of Charles Darwin (1809-82).

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