Dinwiddie, James, 1765-1815

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Dinwiddie, James, 1765-1815

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Dr. James Dinwiddie was born in 1746 at Dumfries, Scotland. He graduated from Edinburgh University in 1778. In 1779 he began writing his series "Queries and Hints", which were scientific journals covering a wide variety of subjects. His fields of research included history, physics, chemistry, engineering, military tactics, and many other diverse topics. In 1781 Dinwiddie embarked upon a lecture series around the United Kingdom on various scientific topics. In 1792 he was invited to join Lord Macartney's embassy to China, as an "experimentalist" and "mechanic". He performed several scientific experiments and demonstrated numerous apparatus for the imperial court. When the embassy left for the return voyage to Britain, Dinwiddie asked to be left behind and went to India. He continued to lecture in India, and was appointed Professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Chemistry at the College of Fort William. Dinwiddie left Calcutta in September 1806, and resettled in London, where he continued to lecture and write in his scientific journals. He was an active member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain up until his death in 1815.

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