Sir Robert Kane, an Irish chemist, born in Dublin in 1810. He was early appointed chemical clerk to the Meath hospital, and in 1830 obtained a prize for the best essay "On the Pathological Condition of the Fluids in Typhus Fever." In 1831 he published " Elements of Practical Pharmacy." In 1832 he received the title of M. D. from Trinity college, Dublin, and in the same year projected the " Dublin Journal of Medical Science." In 1841 he was elected a fellow of the Irish college of physicians, and published the first part of his "Elements of Chemistry;" the third part, completing the work, appeared in 1842. This was for many years a text book in colleges. An edition by Prof. John W. Draper was immediately published in New York. In 1844 he published a work on "The Industrial Resources of Ireland." He was professor of natural philosophy to the royal Dublin society from 1844 to 1847, and in the latter year the royal academy awarded him the Cunningham gold medal for useful discoveries in chemistry, especially for researches on the coloring matter of lichens. In 1845 he was appointed, in conjunction with Professors Lindley and Taylor, to investigate the cause and means of prevention of the potato disease, but their labors were unsuccessful.
In 1846 he was knighted by the lord lieutenant, and was appointed one of the Irish relief commissioners. In the same year the measures recommended by him for the formation of a museum of Irish industry were carried out, the museum at St. Stephen's Green was established, and he was appointed a director. A second edition of his " Chemistry " appeared in 1849. He received the appointment of president of Queen's college, Cork, and delivered the inaugural address at the opening, Nov. 7,1849, but resigned in 1864.