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Portrait of E G Forbes

Eric Gray Forbes

Professor of the History of Science in the University of Edinburgh

A graduate of the Universities of St Andrews and London, Dr Forbes came to the University of Edinburgh as Lecturer in the History of Science, and was appointed to the Chair in 1978. His work on longitude and 18th-century navigation broke new ground in the 1970s, but his main interests and achievements lay in his research on John Flamsteed, Astronomer Royal at the end of the 17th century and on the 18th-century German scientist of the Enlightenment, Tobias Mayer. He is also remembered for his work in publicising Scotland's contributions to the history of scientific knowledge through the work of the project Scotland's Cultural Heritage, which was funded by the Manpower Services Commission and which he initiated and directed during the early 1980s. That it continued for some years after his death is a measure of the excellence of his direction.

After his death Mrs Maria Forbes gifted to the Library her husband's academic papers and a selection of his books, with which she had been continuing some of his work. The archives of Scotland's Cultural Heritage came to the Library separately after the project ended.

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