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Benjamin Silliman

Silliman, Benjamin, 1779–1864, American chemist, geologist, and physicist, b. Trumbull, Conn., grad. Yale, 1796. In 1802 he was appointed first professor of chemistry and natural history at Yale; he traveled abroad and then returned to teach at Yale until 1853. He was noted as a teacher, as a popular lecturer on scientific subjects, and as a founder and editor (1818–46) of the American Journal of Science and Arts. He was the first president of the Association of American Geologists, which became (1848) the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a founding member of the National Academy of Sciences, and he helped to establish the medical school at Yale. His son, Benjamin Silliman, 1816–85, American chemist, b. New Haven, Conn., grad. Yale, 1837, was professor at Yale (1846–49) and then at the Univ. of Louisville (1849–54). In 1854 he returned to Yale, succeeding his father. The school of chemistry which he had established there (1847) later developed into the Sheffield Scientific School.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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