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Darwin Correspondence Project

David Brewster


Scottish physicist who specialised in optics. Invented the kaleidoscope in 1816. Edited the Edinburgh encyclopædia, 1807–30. Assisted in the establishment of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1831. Principal of the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard, St Andrews University, 1838–59. Vice-chancellor, Edinburgh University, 1860–8. Knighted, 1832. FRS 1815.





DSB: Dictionary of scientific biography. Edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie and Frederic L. Holmes. 18 vols. including index and supplements. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1970–90.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.