Scottish physician who wrote influential works on natural sciences.
After just a year of studying medicine in London, he joined the East India company and travelled to China.
He designed the first waterbed, as well as a better way to ventilate cooking stoves, but he refused to patent either of them.
When he was young, his family moved to Aberdeen, where he was home-schooled by his mother.
He was one of the founders of the University of London, which counts another noted physician, Edward Jenner, among its alumni.