Statue of world leading Aberdeen scientist unveiled

Statue of world leading Aberdeen scientist unveiled


One of the world’s greatest scientists, who began his professorial career at the University of Aberdeen was celebrated in Edinburgh this week (Tuesday 25 November).

A statue of James Clerk Maxwell, whose insights revolutionised many branches of science including electricity and magnetism, light and colour and aspects of mechanics and molecular motion - was unveiled in the city's George Street as part of a day long celebration of Maxwell's life and work that took place at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

A professor of Natural Philosophy at the University's Marischal College from 1856 until the fusion with King's College to create the University of Aberdeen in 1860, Maxwell is often cited as Scotland's most famous scientist; his name frequently linked with those of Newton and Einstein. 

Created by artist Sandy Stoddart, the bronze statue set on a granite plinth depicts Maxwell in classic philosophic pose accompanied by his faithful dog Toby.  Allegorical side panels on the plinth link Maxwell with the works of Newton and Einstein.

Alex Fergusson, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament unveiled the statue at the international meeting celebrating Maxwell's work which was attended by an invited audience of over 100.  The event was overseen by Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen. 

The meeting was enhanced by a display of artefacts relevant to James Clerk Maxwell, including his rare 'dynamical top' from the University's Natural Philosophy Collection of Historic Scientific Instruments.  

The statue was made possible by many donations, co-ordinated by the RSE. 

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