A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Forbes, James David
Forbes, James David (1809-1868). -- Natural Philosopher, s. of Sir William F., of Pitsligo, was b. and ed. at Edin. He studied law, and was called to the Bar, but devoted himself to science, in which he gained a great reputation both as a discoverer and teacher. He was Prof. of Natural Philosophy at Edin., 1833-1859, when he succeeded Sir D. Brewster, as Principal of the United Coll. at St. Andrews. He was one of the founders of the British Association in 1831. His scientific investigations and discoveries embraced the subjects of heat, light, polarisation, and specially glaciers. In connection with the last of these he wrote Travels through the Alps (1843), Norway and its Glaciers (1853), Tour of Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa (1855), and Papers on the Theory of Glaciers.