James Allan Thomson

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James Allan Thomson, MA, DSc, FNZI, FGS, AOSM, was chosen as the first Rhodes Scholar to Oxford University from all New Zealand.

In 1914 he was appointed Director of the Dominion Museum and during his period (1914-1928) the Museum continued to undertake important research, including the McDonald expeditions, Elsdon Best's research and important advances in history and ethnological collection acquisitions.

In 1985 the Royal Society of New Zealand created a prestigious award to be made in recognition of outstanding contributions in the fields of the organisation, administration or application of science. The award is known as the Thomson Medal and commemorates the contributions made to science by two former presidents of the society, James' father and himself. It is awarded every two years.


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James Allan Thomson is the first New Zealander awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University.

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Gertrude Alice Keam and James Allan Thomson marry. Sources: 1