The University has a strong history of scientific innovation and development and remains at the forefront of current research
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The University of Dundee is very proud of its history of research, teaching and learning in all scientific fields.
The idea that Dundee should have a science-based college was born in the 1860s. The founding of University College in 1881 saw the teaching of science as a central principle of its establishment.
Of the nine founding Professors of the College, seven had chairs in scientific fields. These included J. E. A. Steggall, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy; Thomas Carnelley, Professor of Chemistry; J. A. Ewing, Professor of Engineering; D’Arcy Thompson, Professor of Biology and later Zoology; Patrick Geddes, Professor of Botany; Andrew M. Paterson, Professor of Anatomy and E.Waymouth Reid, Professor of Physiology.
Three years after teaching began in the city, the University of Edinburgh permitted students in science to count two years spent in Dundee as part of their three year degree. This early excellence in science teaching and research has continued to this day. The Faculty of Medicine established in 1897 now includes one of the country’s finest teaching hospitals at Ninewells and the University’s Wellcome Building is the home to world leading research in the Life Sciences. Internationally recognised as one of the fastest growing research institutes in Europe, the College of Life Sciences boasts outstanding laboratory and technology facilities. The importance of the sciences within the University are as strong today as they were when the College was founded.
Dundee University Archive Services holds collections that reflect these strengths and developments. The collections are regularly used for teaching, for research and for learning. The University’s science collections form the hub of an archive that includes the records created by other scientific bodies and organisations. The British Association for the Advancement of Science is one collection of many which reflects the close links between the University’s scientific community and the wider world; D’Arcy Thompson being responsible for organising the 1912 meeting of the Association in Dundee which brought together the great scientific minds of the time.