John Dalton

Born 6 September 1766. Died 27th July 1844.

Dalton was a 18th and 19th Century Man of Science. His work explored a vast array of different areas. His contributions to the fields of science were wide ranging. Dalton provided the first detailed account of colour-blindness (which he diagnosed himself with) after he was told on separate occasions colours he chose for clothing were too bright for Quakers (Dalton saw the bright Reds as a duller and darker colour). [Emery, A., 'John Dalton (1766-1844)', Journal of Medical Genetics, 25 (1988), 424.] Dalton's biggest contribution was in the field of Atomic Theory, assigning different weights to elements.

Dalton was raised a Quaker, and continued to practice through his life. From an early age Dalton attended school, setting up his own when he was 12 [Emery, A., 'John Dalton (1766-1844)', Journal of Medical Genetics, 25 (1988), 424.].

Quakers were considered Dissenters and therefore were band from key universities in Britain due to their religious affiliation. Despite this, Dalton became a distinguished man of science. 'at the age of 26 he was appointed tutor in mathematics and natural philosophy in New College, Manchester, where he also taught chemistry.'[Emery, A., 'John Dalton (1766-1844)', Journal of Medical Genetics, 25 (1988), 425.] Dalton also attended the British Science association meetings across the country, as well as taking a trip to Paris where he met with other Men of Science.

Helpful reference:

Due to the Scientific nature of Dalton, much academic writing on him is from the perspective of Science. The Wikipedia page on him is helpful for a broad overview of his academic work:

As well as this the Emery article is also useful: Emery, A., 'John Dalton (1766-1844)', Journal of Medical Genetics, 25 (1988), 422-426.

Irene Parker's work on Dissenting Academics may also be of interest: