Maxwell's in poll position
EDINBURGH'S "forgotten" scientist seems to be well remembered after all.
James Clerk Maxwell has topped a poll aimed at finding Scotland's top scientist - coming ahead of such luminaries as John Logie Baird and Alexander Graham Bell. It comes after city physicists mounted a campaign for Maxwell to be given the recognition he deserves.
Said to be an inspiration to Albert Einstein, his research has led to innovations such as mobile phones and microwaves.
More than 14,000 people across Scotland voted in the National Library of Scotland's Scottish Science Hall of Fame poll between December 2005 and last month.
A short profile of each contender was featured on the library's website, next to pictures of them drawn by Evening News cartoonist Frank Boyle.
Bruce Borthwick, who has worked with Edinburgh's James Clerk Maxwell Foundation during the past year to promote the scientist's work on the 175th anniversary of his birth, said he was delighted with the poll result.
He said: "It is fantastic that people are starting to realise what Maxwell has actually contributed to our lives. I am just in awe, when I walk through Edinburgh, to be walking on the same streets as him. By being voted number one in the poll, he has shown the amazing importance of his work, as Einstein himself recognised."
Born at 14 India Street, New Town, in 1831, Maxwell became the youngest ever member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh - accepted at the age of 14. He studied at Edinburgh Academy, then moved on to work at Cambridge and Aberdeen universities, where he created a set of theories of electricity and magnetic lines of force.
His work paved the way for hundreds of modern inventions, including the mobile phone, television and X-ray machines.
Mr Borthwick said the headline-hitting "invisibility cloak" being created in Scotland as a possible tool for the military would not have been possible without Maxwell's discoveries.
Catherine Booth, curator of science at the National Library of Scotland, said: "We wanted to raise the profile of Scottish scientists and I think it has worked very well. The work to promote Clerk Maxwell has paid off - and people acknowledge the importance of his work."
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West