Alumni Services

January 2014

Each month, we bring you a selection of new books written by Edinburgh alumni. January's diverse selection includes an in-depth study of the interdependency of life and the environment, a tale of two little-known paddle steamers built on the Clyde, two alumni's memoirs, and a study aid for students.

Shona Cochrane

Author Shona Cochrane
Edinburgh degree M.Ed 2005
Book Learn to Learn

This book is specifically designed to support students keen to develop highly effective study skills and achieve real success in their school exams and beyond. It contains crucial advice on learning styles to help students formulate the most effective personal study strategies right from the outset, and is filled with practical tasks, self-evaluation exercises and games to personalise the learning process and develop study techniques.

The Review, Remember, Recall approach to study is developed in full to allow students to take charge of their learning and formulate successful revision and exam preparation plans, creating a practical text to support learners through the entire study process.

Dugald L. Gardner

Author Dugald L. Gardner
Edinburgh degree MBChB 1948, MD 1958
Book My Path of Pathology

This richly illustrated and entertaining memoir portrays Professor Gardner s varied life as a medical graduate in the UK and beyond. The author describes how his early life gave him the opportunity of studying for the wartime Natural Sciences Tripos in Cambridge, before graduating in Medicine in Edinburgh. Specialising in Internal Medicine, Professor Gardner then served as a physician with the British Army of the Rhine before turning to laboratory medicine in Cambridge. From Addenbrooke s hospital, Professor Gardner moved to Edinburgh for research in the pathology of the rheumatic diseases. A lectureship in pathology was followed first by a year at Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio and then, on his return, to an Edinburgh Senior Lectureship.

In 1966 he became the first Director of the new Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, London. A period as Musgrave Professor of Pathology of the Queen s University of Belfast was followed by twelve years in a new Chair in the University of Manchester. Retiring to Edinburgh, the author accepted a Fellowship in osteoarticular pathology which led him to the most modern forms of microscopy while simultaneously allowing him to become Conservator of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Each chapter is linked to a particular waterway which featured in Professor Gardner s life and career and gives the book its subtitle "By Rivers, Lakes and Seas".

Fraser G. MacHaffie

Author Fraser G. MacHaffie
Edinburgh degree BD 1972
Book Scotia and Caledonia: Two Little-Known Paddle Steamers

By following the careers of two paddlers built on the Clyde in 1845 and 1856, respectively, Scotia and Caledonia: Two Little-Known Paddle Steamers explores changes in transportation in the south-west of Scotland, takes us blockade running during the American Civil War, and introduces us to the Canadian Maritimes in the very early days of steam navigation.

Ian M Malcolm

Author Ian M Malcolm
Edinburgh degree MA 1960
Book Mature Student: Answering the Call for Teachers in the 1950s

Of his new book, Ian M Malcolm says:

"When, in September, 1951, I gave up being a radio officer/purser in the Merchant Navy, I expected, and wanted, to live in my native city of Dundee from then on. However, it didn’t turn out that way. I was so unhappy in the clerical job which I got, and couldn’t find a suitable one, that I went to work at Post Office Stations. My first appointment was to Wick, but, because the station was run to suit a well-entrenched few, I requested and was granted a transfer to Portishead Radio Station, in Highbridge, Somerset.

In 1955, my wife and I were living in Burnham-on-Sea, and I was an established civil servant at Portishead, when I learned that the Scottish Council for the Training of Teachers was looking for recruits. I applied and, after being interviewed in Edinburgh, was accepted into the Scheme although I did not have the necessary qualifications to gain entrance to a university.

My decision to train as a teacher was not made on monetary grounds or because I didn’t like the job. My salary was as good as a teacher’s and the job was varied and interesting: the only snags being the shift work and a six-day week. A teacher’s job was, of course, much better in both respects, but, at the root of it all, I wanted to return to Scotland. But the downside was that I would lose five years wages and five years superannuation.

This, the story of those five years, encompasses the social side as well as the academic and is not without humour. I hope you enjoy it."

Toby Tyrrell

Author Toby Tyrrell
Edinburgh degree MSc Informatics 1989, PhD 1993
Book On Gaia: A Critical Investigation of the Relationship between Life and Earth

Toby Tyrrell draws on the latest findings in fields as diverse as climate science, oceanography, atmospheric science, geology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. He takes readers to obscure corners of the natural world, from southern Africa where ancient rocks reveal that icebergs were once present near the equator, to mimics of cleaner fish on Indonesian reefs, to blind fish deep in Mexican caves. Tyrrell weaves these and many other intriguing observations into a comprehensive analysis of the major assertions and lines of argument underpinning Gaia, and finds that it is not a credible picture of how life and Earth interact.

On Gaia reflects on the scientific evidence indicating that life and environment mutually affect each other, and proposes that feedbacks on Earth do not provide robust protection against the environment becoming uninhabitable--or against poor stewardship by us.

Toby Tyrrell is professor of Earth system science at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton.