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Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) - Social Reformer

He was born on 2nd October 1854 at Ballater, Aberdeenshire, and was educated at Perth Academy. In 1871 he joined the National Bank of Scotland and in 1873 he moved to London to study under T. H. Huxley (1825—95). There followed a period of study in Mexico before Geddes returned to Scotland in 1880. In spite of his qualifications, he failed to gain an academic appointment until 1888, when he became Professor of Botany in University College, Dundee, a post he held for 30 years. In Edinburgh Geddes became involved in the work of the Edinburgh Social Union, which attempted to better the abysmal conditions that prevailed in the Royal Mile; he built Ramsay Garden on the site of the house of Allan Ramsay, and he rebuilt the camera obscura in Outlook Tower. Geddes's economic philosophy rested on a belief that resources were more important than finance, and he became an early proponent of the need for town planning; on this subject his most durable books are City Development (1904) and Cities in Evolution (1915). Much of his later life was spent in travelling and lecturing abroad. He was knighted in 1932 and died that same year on 17 April.

Works: John Ruskin (1884); An Analysis of the Principles of Economics (1885); Every Man his Own Art Critic (1887); Industrial Exhibitions (1887); with J. A. Thomson, The Evolution of Sex (1890); City Development (1904); Cities as Applied Sociology (1905); The World Without and the World Within (1905); with J. A. Thomson, Evolution (1911); with J. A. Thomson, Sex (1911); The Masque of Ancient Learning (1912); Cities in Evolution (1915); On Universities in Europe (1915); with Victor Branford, The Making of the Future (1917); with Gilbert Slater, Ideas at War (1917); The Life and Work of Sir Jagadis C. Bose (1920); Town Planning in Colombo (1921); Education in Return to Life (1924); with). A. Thomson, Biology (1925).

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