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Thomas Anderson

1819 - 1874

Organic chemist. Born in Leith, Anderson was educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh Academy and the University of Edinburgh. Following further studies in Europe, he returned to Edinburgh where he undertook his most important work. This concerned with chemistry of pyridines, powerful solvents, which he discovered having been able to extract them from bone oil in 1851. The following year Anderson was appointed Regius Professor of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow.

Anderson also investigated codeine and other opium derivatives and discovered structure of anthracene, a compound derived from coal tar which has a variety of industrial uses. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and worked with the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland investigating the chemistry of soils and natural fertilisers.

Anderson signed the Scientist's Declaration, a document which supported the scientific accuracy of the Bible and his opposed the controversial theories of Charles Darwin, which suggested processes of evolution through natural selection.

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