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History - People - Edward Turner

Edward Turner

Edward Turner

Head of Department : 1828 - 1837

Turner began his career in medicine. He later graduated and lectured at the University of Edinburgh until his appointment as the first Professor of Chemistry at the London University. He was not a great original thinker but his excellent analytical work enabled him to be the first Briton to accurately ascertain atomic weights and to disprove Prout's hypothesis of atomic weights being integer multiples of hydrogen.

His book "Elements of Chemistry", first published in 1827, gained a European reputation and ran to eight editions. The frontispiece of the 5th Edition, published while he was Professor at UCL in 1834 is shown below (courtesy of Dr Peter Garratt ).

elementsof chemistry

Turner was very popular with the undergraduates and on his death the students paid for the bust which appears in the photo at the top of this page. Turner also lectured in Geology.

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This page last modified 20 September, 2010

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