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Biographical entry Skertchly, Sydney Barber Josiah (1850 - 1926)

Born
14 December 1850
Ansty, Leicestershire, England
Died
2 February 1926
Molendinar, Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Botanist and Geologist

Summary

Josiah Skertchly had a varied career in geology and botany in Britain, the United States and Asia before migrating to Queensland in 1891. While Assistant Geologist with the Geological Survey of Great Britain he made ground-breaking discoveries on the antiquity of human existence in Britain. Later in Australia he was probably the first successfully to apply stratigraphic principles to attempt to establish the age of Aboriginal occupation. In 1895 Skertchly became Assistant Government Geologist, Queensland Geological Survey. Alongside his professional duties he immersed himself in the scientific life of Queensland, serving as President of the Royal Society of Queensland and the Queensland Naturalists' Club as its foundation. Skertchly lectured widely and wrote on natural history and science for the "Brisbane Courier" and other publications. Although not an optometrist, Skertchly was elected a member of the Institute of Ophthalmic Opticians of Queensland in its foundation year 1908. He played a prominent role in advocating for improved educational standards and professional practice as embodies in the Queensland Opticians Act of 1917. In 1927 Skertchly's archaeological collections were purchased by the Queensland Museum.

Details

Events

1870 - 1871
Career position - Assistant Geologist to the Viceroy of Egypt
1871 - ?
Career position - Member, Geological Society, London
1871 - 1881
Career position - Assistant Geologist, Geological Survey of Great Britain
1891
Life event - Migrated to Australia
1895 - 1897
Career position - Assistant Government Geologist, Queensland Geological Survey
1898
Career position - President, Royal Society of Queensland
1906
Career position - Founding President, Queensland Naturalists' Club
1908 - ?
Career position - Member, Institute of Ophthalmic Opticians of Queensland
1909 - 1925
Career position - President of the examinations board, Institute of Ophthalmic Opticians of Queensland
1913
Life event - Retired
1915
Career position - President, Institute of Ophthalmic Opticians of Queensland

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Private hands (Cooper, E.S.)

  • Sydney Barber Josiah Skertchly - Records, 1850 - 1926; Private hands (Cooper, E.S.). Details

Private hands (Wright, C.)

  • Sydney Barber Josiah Skertchly - Records, 1908 - 1958; Private hands (Wright, C.). Details

Queensland Department of Education

  • Sydney Barber Josiah Skertchly - Records, 1891 - 1926; Queensland Department of Education. Details

Queensland Herbarium

  • Sydney Barber Josiah Skertchly - Records, 1924; Queensland Herbarium. Details

Queensland State Archives

  • Sydney Barber Josiah Skertchly - Records, 1909, EDU/45; Queensland State Archives. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Vincent, Stephen J., 'Sydney Barber Josiah Skertchly (1850 - 1926): scientist, educator and advocate for Queensland optometry', Clinical and Experimental Optometry, vol. 100, 2017, pp. 402-6. Details
  • Westaway, Michael C., 'Sydney B. J. Skertchly and the early Pleistocene archaeology at the Queensland Museum', Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, vol. 22, no. 1, 2012, pp. 14-8. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn