Sir John Struthers (1823-1899)

Sir John Struthers (1823-1899)
Sir John Struthers, by George Reid 1891.

Sir John Struthers made important contributions to comparative anatomy, medicine and the theory of evolution. Born in Dunfermline, he graduated in medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1845. Struthers was appointed to the Regius Chair of Anatomy at Aberdeen in 1863, retiring in 1889 to live in Edinburgh. While in Aberdeen he reformed the teaching of anatomy and was responsible for the introduction of the Science degree. Struthers was influenced early in his career by the human anatomist Robert Knox, who had studied under Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) in Paris. Cuvier emphasised the importance of comparing the anatomy of different animals, including humans, with fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and other mammals. Struthers studied whales extensively, often dissecting them in the public view, whether on the beach at Peterhead, or in the grounds of a showman in Dundee.

Dissected sheep skull,
by Struthers.

This is one of a number of skeletal preparations by Struthers and his colleagues for teaching comparative anatomy. Other materials include a recently discovered collection of human and animal brain casts he acquired.

Struthers and his assistant Robert Gibb
examining a Beluga whale in front of
Marischal College. MSU 1332/7/4/3
Caricature of Struthers and the Beluga.
MS 3083
Graduation souvenir.
Struthers lecturing to the anatomy class 

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