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Arthur Aikin (1773-1854), Chemist and geologist

Sitter in 1 portrait
Training for the Unitarian ministry, Aikin changed his plans and devoted himself to scientific pursuit. Under the guidance of Joseph Priestley he studied chemistry, focusing on mineralogy and botany. In 1797 he published, 'with Observations in Mineralogy and other branches of natural History', an account of a tour that he took in North Wales and Shropshire. In the next year appeared his 'natural History of the Year', and in 1799 he delivered a series of lectures in London on chemistry and chemical manufactures. In 1807 Aikin took a foremost part in founding the Geological Society, of which he became secretary about 1811, retiring in 1817 on his acceptance of the post of secretary to the Society of Arts.

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Arthur Aikin

by William Brockedon
pencil and black chalk, 1826
NPG 2515(9)