Smithsonite is a mineral, named after James Smithson, the founding donor of the Smithsonian. He was an English scientist who lived c. 1765-1829. In a secondary clause in his will, he left his fortune to the United States of America—a place he never visited—to create “an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.”
The chemical name for smithsonite is zinc carbonate (ZnCO3), and it is one of a group of ores that yield the metal zinc. It was named in honor of Smithson because it was he who first identified the mineral in 1802.