In spite of dating back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the University of Edinburgh is only the fourth-oldest university in Scotland (after St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen), hence the sixth-oldest in the English-speaking world (with Oxford and Cambridge, of course, in first and second positions).
As the city of Edinburgh itself grew in importance, however, its university also came to dominate its Scottish rivals. That is why, for such a relatively “young” university, Edinburgh is associated with a quite remarkable list of intellectual luminaries, including the following, including, during the seventeenth century, the well-known Presbyterian theologian, Samuel Rutherford.
During the following eighteenth-century – the Scottish Enlightenment – Edinburgh was home to a veritable galaxy of celebrated thinkers, including:
During the Victoria era, two of the most-influential scientists of all time, the naturalist Charles Darwin and the physicist James Clerk Maxwell, both studied here. Other nineteenth-century, Edinburgh-connected scientists include the botanist Robert Brown (the first person to observe what is now called “Brownian motion”); the physician Joseph Lister (a pioneer of antiseptic surgery); and Alexander Graham Bell (the inventor of the telephone).
We may also mention:
As for the twentieth century, among 19 Nobel Prize – winners who have been associated with the University of Edinburgh, we may mention:
There have been four Edinburgh-connected Turing Award – winners, namely:
Scientific breakthroughs that have occurred here include the first cloning of a mammal (the sheep Dolly) and the first genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine. Edinburgh scientists also helped design the world’s first industrial-assembly robotic system.
Who are University of Edinburgh's Most influential alumni?
University of Edinburgh's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Medical, Nursing, and Biology. University of Edinburgh’s most academically influential people include Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, and David Hume.
British naturalist, author of "On the origin of species, by means of natural selection"view profile
Scottish moral philosopher and political economistview profile
Scottish philosopher, economist, and historianview profile
Scottish physicistview profile
Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poetview profile
Scientist and inventor known for his work on the telephoneview profile
Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writerview profile
Scottish physician and authorview profile
English biologistview profile
Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacherview profile
Scottish geologist, physician, chemical manufacturer, naturalist, and experimental agriculturalistview profile
English physician, botanist; member of the Lunar Societyview profile