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Forbes James David

Forbes, James David (1809-1868), was born in Edinburgh. He was intended by his father, Sir William Forbes, for the bar. His own bent, however, was towards physics, astronomy, and meteorology, and after going to Edinburgh in 1825, he sent a paper upon the Apparent Number of the Stars to the Edinburyh Philosophical Journal. He made a tour through France, Germany, and Italy, and wrote upon the things he saw. He returned to Edinburgh, and studied moral and natural philosophy, and became B'.R.S. of Edinburgh at nineteen. He finally took up Natural Science as his subject, and was much with Sir David Brewster, whom he aided in founding the British Association. In 1833 he was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy in Edinburgh, and besides filling this post well, he , did much for the advancement of the university by introducing the practice of examining for degrees. In 1859 he became Principal of the University of St. Andrews. Besides numerous papers and memoirs on many subjects, he published a Theory of Glaciers, Travels through the Alps of Savoy, a Tour in Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa, Norway and its Glaciers, and made many valuable researches into the nature and action of heat.