Bio Blasts

John Napier

John Napier, the “Marvellous Merchiston” (as he was known in his day), was a Scottish landowner, mathematician, physicist, astronomer and discoverer of logarithms invented the so-called ‘Napier’s bones’, and made common the use of the decimal point. He was enrolled in St Salvator’s College, St Andrews at the age of 13, and it is suspected …

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John Maoir

Scottish Mathematician John Maoir worked in both Paris and St Andrews teaching logic and theology. He studied at Cambridge (rare for a Scot at this time), where he spent around a year before furthering his studies in France. He contributed to a range of fields, including ethics, metaphysics, theology, biblical commentary, history and (above all) …

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James Gregory

The Scottish mathematician, astronomer, and first Regius Professor of Mathematics at the University of St Andrews, James Gregory, was one of the three inventors of calculus and the first to write a textbook concerning it (hence why calculus was taught at St Andrews a hundred years before it was on the curriculum at the University …

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Robert FitzRoy

Charles Darwin described Robert FitzRoy as a ‘very extraordinary person’, being ‘everything that is delightful’ and ‘very scientific’. Vice-Admiral FitzRoy was an English officer of the Royal Navy and a scientist. He is most celebrated as the captain of the HMS Beagle during Darwin’s famous voyage, a major cartographic expedition from 1831 to 1836. FitzRoy …

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Charles Lapworth

Geologist Charles Lapworth taught English at Madras College, St Andrews. Although predominately self-taught in the field of geology, he made significant contributions to research regarding the Southern Uplands. He is mostly remembered for proposing the Ordovician epoch, a new classification of Lower Paleozoic rocks between the Cambrian and the Silurian periods. This term only gained …

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