Elected: 1979
Discipline: Earth Sciences and Chemistry
Dr Victor Colin Farmer FRSE
Colin Farmer was a brilliant innovative scientist who, in research spanning 60 years, pioneered the use of infrared spectroscopy in mineralogy, particularly its application to clay mineralogy, and additionally made many outstanding contributions to soil science in the field of both inorganic and organic geochemistry. With the exception of a short period immediately after his retirement in 1983, his entire research career was spent at the Macaulay Institute in Aberdeen where, unencumbered by administrative duties, he produced a steady stream of high-quality original papers throughout his working life.

Victor Colin Farmer was born in Woodlawn, County Galway, Ireland on the last day of 1920. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Scotland and he was brought up in Ayrshire. He entered the University of Glasgow in 1939 and gained a first class Honours degree in Chemistry in 1943. Following this he was accepted for a PhD in the University of Aberdeen, although his research was conducted largely at the Macaulay Institute for Soil Research, gaining his PhD in 1947 for a thesis entitled “Spectroscopic Investigations on the Minor Element Content of Plants and Soils”.

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