James Finlay Weir Johnston

Scottish agricultural chemist

James Finlay Weir Johnston FRS (13 September 1796 – 18 September 1855) was a Scottish agronomist and agricultural chemist. He is best known as the co-founder of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.


  • Among the friends and patrons of the society at York who paid kind and hospitable attention to those whom the love of science had brought to the meeting, the clergy must not be passed over in silence. They had been the zealous promoters of the meeting; had done much towards facilitating the preliminary arrangements; and exerted themselves by their influence and example to secure to the association that respect and general attention which it deserved, and which at York it amply received. To the church, therefore, the British Association is deeply indebted; and convinced, as I am, that true religion and true science ever lead to the same great end, manifesting and exalting the glory and goodness of the great object of our common worship, I trust that the firmer the association is established, and the more influential it becomes, the more willing and the more efficient an ally it will prove in the cause of religion. While in former times science was said to lead to infidelity, because then it was less profoundly studied, or with less zeal for truth, it is one of the happy characters of the science of this day that it renders men more devout; and it is a pleasing evidence that such is the received opinion, when discerning and educated men — the friends and teachers of religion — of all ranks, step forward not only to patronize science, but to enlist themselves among its cultivators, and to distinguish those who have most successfully advanced it.

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