Find out more about figures from the University's past; a mix of household names and more unusual hidden histories, whose lives and achievements are less well known.
James Lind (1716 – 1794)
October 2016 marks the tercentenary of the birth of James Lind, the Edinburgh alumnus who pioneered the use of citrus fruits to treat scurvy.
James Hutton (1726 – 1797)
The founder of modern geology, James Hutton lived a colourful life before devoting himself to the study of the origins of the Earth.
Robert Stirling (1790-1878)
A church minister who invented an engine that was two centuries ahead of its time and is just coming into its own.
Lilian Lindsay (1871 - 1960)
The first British woman to qualify as a dentist and the first female president of the British Dental Association.
David Hume (1711 – 1776)
The most influential thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment and one of the greatest philosophers of all time.
Klaus Fuchs (1911 – 1988)
German-born physicist and spy who was arrested and convicted for giving vital atomic-research secrets to the Soviet Union.
Flora Philip (1865 – 1943)
The first female member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society and one of the first women to graduate from the University in 1893.
Dr Robert Knox (1791 – 1862)
Prior to his infamous involvement in the Burke and Hare murders, Robert Knox was a renowned lecturer of anatomy, esteemed zoologist, ethnologist and doctor.
Bhagvat Singh (1865 – 1944)
The world’s eighth longest serving monarch with a reputation for progressive thinking was also the only Maharaja to be awarded a degree.
Anne Redpath (1895 – 1965)
A prominent career as a painter led her to be the first woman to become an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy and an influential member of the Scottish art world.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)
Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer who wrote much the loved classics ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.’
Sophia Jex-Blake (1840 – 1912)
British physician and pioneer for medical education for women, Sophia Jex-Blake studied medicine at Edinburgh but was forced to take her degree in Switzerland.
Charlotte Auerbach (1899 - 1994)
A Jewish-German zoologist and geneticist who fled Nazism in Germany to pursue her PhD in genetics at the University of Edinburgh.
J M Barrie (1860 - 1937)
One of Scotland’s greatest novelists and dramatists and remembered fondly by many as the creator of Peter Pan.
Dugald Stewart (1753 - 1828)
A leading figure of the 18th Century Scottish Enlightenment and a major exponent of the Scottish common sense school of philosophy.
John Rae (1813-1893)
Alumnus who solved the two greatest mysteries of 19th-century Arctic exploration.