Famous Scottish Chemists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Scottish Chemists

 1 

William Ramsay
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: July 23, 1916

The son of a civil engineer, Nobel Prize-winning Scottish chemist William Ramsay revolutionized science with his pathbreaking discovery of the noble gases, thus forming an entirely new segment of the periodic table. He is also remembered for his long association with UCL. He was knighted for his achievements.

 2 
James Dewar
(Chemist)

James Dewar
3
Birthdate: September 20, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kincardine, Scotland
Died: March 27, 1923

James Dewar was a British chemist and physicist best known for his invention of the vacuum flask. He conducted considerable research into the liquefaction of gases and atomic and molecular spectroscopy. He also wrote papers on the qualities of hydrogen and organic chemistry. He was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts and the Rumford Medal. 

 3 
Joseph Black
(Chemist, Physicist, Scientist, University teacher)

Joseph Black
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1728
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bordeaux
Died: December 6, 1799

Joseph Black was an 18th-century Scottish physicist and chemist. He is remembered for his discoveries of magnesium, specific heat, latent heat, and carbon dioxide. He spent several years of his career as a professor of medicine and chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. In 1783, he became one of the founders of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

Recommended Lists:

 4 
Daniel Rutherford
(Former physician, chemist and botanist who is known for the isolation of nitrogen in 1772)

Daniel Rutherford
3
Birthdate: November 3, 1749
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: November 15, 1819

Best known for discovering nitrogen gas, Scottish chemist Daniel Rutherford was also initially a practicing physician. A skilled botanist, he also taught botany at the University of Edinburgh. His other inventions include the maximum and minimum thermometers. He also co-founded the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

 5 
William Cullen
(Physician, Chemist, Farmer, Academic, University teacher, Writer, Psychiatrist)

William Cullen
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1710
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamilton
Died: February 5, 1790

Apart from being a prominent Scottish physician, William Cullen was also a main pillar of the Scottish Enlightenment. Not only did he treat luminaries such as philosopher David Hume, but he also treated the poor free of cost. A University of Edinburgh professor of medicine, he was also a Royal Society Fellow.

 6 
Thomas Graham
(Chemist)

Thomas Graham
3
Birthdate: December 21, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow
Died: September 16, 1869

Scottish chemist Thomas Graham was a pioneer of colloid chemistry. His research on the diffusion of gases led to the Graham's Law. He is also considered to be the inventor of dialysis, a method he used to separate colloids from crystalloids, and one which was later modified to assist in kidney-related ailments.

 7 

Thomas Charles Hope
2
Birthdate: July 21, 1766
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: June 13, 1844

The third son of physician and botanist John Hope, Thomas Charles Hope began his career teaching chemistry and medicine and eventually chaired medicine at the University of Glasgow. He is remembered for discovering the element strontium and also explained why icebergs float. He eventually became a Fellow of The Royal Society.

You May Like

 8 

James Young (Chemist)
1
Birthdate: July 13, 1811
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Glasgow
Died: May 13, 1883

Born to a carpenter in Glasgow, James Young initially assisted his father but later gained an interest in chemistry. He grew up to invent a process of extracting oil from coal and oil shales. Owing to his paraffin oil company, which he owned, he later earned the nickname Paraffin Young.

Archibald Scott Couper
1
Birthdate: March 31, 1831
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kirkintilloch, Scotland
Died: March 11, 1892

Though born to an affluent textile mill owner, Archibald Scott Couper shunned his family business and focused on chemistry instead. In a study independent of the one conducted by German chemist August Kekulé, he discovered the tetravalency of carbon and described how carbon atoms bond with one another.

 10 

Thomas Stewart Traill
0
Birthdate: October 29, 1781
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orkney, Scotland
Died: July 30, 1862

Thomas Stewart Traill had donned many hats. Initially a practicing physician, he was also interested in zoology and helped John James Audubon publish The Birds of America. He was also a chemist and a meteorologist and spent his life teaching at the University of Edinburgh. He also edited Encyclopædia Britannica’s 8th edition.

 11 

George Thomas Beilby
0
Birthdate: November 17, 1850
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 1, 1924

British chemist George Thomas Beilby initially developed the processes of the oil-shale industry. He later revolutionized the chemical industry by inventing a method of producing potassium cyanide by passing ammonia over charcoal and potassium carbonate, which later proved beneficial for gold leaching. He was eventually knighted for his achievements.