Dr. George Buist (1805-1860), the editor of the Bombay Times (precursor of the Times of India), merits attention of historians on account of his significant contributions to Indian journalism in its infancy, his contributions to the Society and the civic life of Mumbai in the first half of the nineteenth century, and the circumstances which led to his ignominious exit. He held many important posts/positions such as the member of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society; Secretary of the Bombay Geographical Society; Founder and Resident superintendent of the Reformatory School of Industry, Bombay; Fellow of the Royal Society of London; Fellow of the Geological Society of London; in-charge of the Government Astronomical, Meteorological, and Magnetic Observatory, and of the Government Central Museum, Bombay and the Sheriff of Bombay.
He was the moving spirit behind the scientific and literary societies of his time and, despite his heavy workload, gave the benefit of his knowledge on these subjects to all who sought it. His scholarly articles, published in the Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, display his spirit of scientific inquiry. He also compiled a useful ‘Index to Books and Papers on the Physical Geography, Antiquities, and Statistics of India’.
This monograph draws attention to the contribution of this man of such rare quality, who sowed the seeds of public spirit and worked for welfare of the people. He deserves to be recognised for his work and remembered with respect.