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McGlew, Tom, d 2016 (Head of Sociology, University of Edinburgh)



  • Existence: d 2016


Tom McGlew joined the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Sociology in October 1970 from Brown University, US. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1984, and served as Head of Sociology in the crucial years in which the School of Social and Political Science was taking shape.

Tom McGlew also worked closely with NGOs, community bodies and local businesses, bringing rigorous research to bear on their activities. One of the most influential projects he was involved in was a health education initiative based in the Polaroid factory in Dunbartonshire’s Vale of Leven, which was a major employer at the time. The project sought to tackle the entrenched health problems of the west of Scotland, offering health screening services and advice on food, exercise and smoking, first in the factory and then in a converted double-decker bus that travelled around the community.

Although he officially retired in 2005, Tom McGlew was still involved in teaching until the onset of his illness, and played an active role in recruiting Edinburgh ‘junior year abroad’ students from US colleges. He died in May 2016.

Source: Tom McGlew's obituary on the University of Edinburgh website,

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Papers of Tom McGlew

Identifier: Coll-1871
Content Description

Papers of Tom McGlew, teacher, Senior Lecturer and Head of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh between 1970 and 2005.

  1. Papers relating to research, mostly related to health and family planning;
  2. Lectures and courses, mostly from undergraduate courses in sociology.
Dates: c 1970-2015