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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Smith, Professor the Hon. John

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Smith, Professor the Hon. John, C.M.G., M.L.C., M.A., M.D., LL.D., was educated at the University of Aberdeen, where he graduated M. A. and M.D. For five years he taught chemistry at Marischal College, and in 1852, when the University of Sydney was constituted, he was selected to be the first Professor of Chemistry and Experimental Physics, a position which he held for over thirty years. In 1853 he was appointed a member of the Board of National Education, and served till it was dissolved by the Public Schools Act of 1866, when he became a member of the Council of Education constituted thereunder, and was for a number of years president. In 1874 he was nominated to the Legislative Council, and strongly advocated the adoption of a protectionist policy. In 1876 the University of Aberdeen conferred on him the honorary degree of LL.D., and in 1877 he was created C.M.G. in recognition of his services in the cause of education. In May 1883 the New South Wales Government appointed him a member of the Board of Technical Education, which was abolished in 1890. He died on Oct. 12th, 1885.