Educated at Aberdeen and Edinburgh at the height of the ‘golden age’ of Scottish medicine, George Fordyce came to London, where he began to lecture on chemistry and medical subjects. As a physician at St Thomas's Hospital he became an authority on fevers, but his scientific interests remained wide. He studied the animal fluids involved in digestion, the effects of heat on the body, the applications of chemistry to agriculture and industry, and the gain in weight of metals on calcination, among other problems. His work was highly regarded in his lifetime, but an eccentric lifestyle and a lack of concern for the social graces tended to reduce his standing among medical colleagues. He made no significant discoveries and although his contributions to medical education were important, he has been largely neglected.