Record

CodeNA7619
Dates1773-1858
Person NameBrown; Dr; Robert (1773-1858); Scientist
SurnameBrown
ForenamesRobert
PreTitleDr
EpithetScientist
ActivityRobert Brown was born on the present site of Montrose Library in 1773. His father, the Reverend James Brown, was a great character and an ardent Episcopal minister at a time when Episcopacy was still viewed with deep suspicion. Robert attended the Grammar School of Montrose and later Marischal College, Aberdeen. In 1789 he moved to Edinburgh with his family where he trained as a surgeon. He joined the army as an assistant surgeon but soon tired of the life. Instead he joined the crew of HMS ‘Investigator’ bound for Australia on a four year voyage where he collected 4,000 specimens of plants. On his return, he became one of the country’s foremost scientists. He is best remembered today as the discoverer of Brownian movement, a very important discovery as it allowed Einstein to prove the existence of molecules and the kinetic theory of heat. Brown became the Librarian of the Linnean Society in London and Keeper of Botany at the British Museum, where admirers of his work included Charles Darwin and Alexander von Humbolt. He died in 1858.
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