Elected: 1979
Discipline: Economics and Social Sciences
Dr Thomas Lothian Johnston DL FRSE
The announcement of the death of Tom Johnston in The Scotsman made no mention that he was a professor and a principal and included no reference to his doctorate and many honorary degrees. Nor did it say he was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; indeed, had been its president. That was Tom. He would have liked that.

Those born in Hawick are known as Teries. Thomas Lothian Johnston was born in Whitburn, the family moving to Newcastleton near Hawick shortly thereafter. So Tom, with a Border surname, became a proud Borderer and in every respect other than his place of birth, a real Teri.

A contemporary at Edinburgh University, aware of Tom’s academic skills, asked him why he had not thought of going to Oxford or Cambridge. Tom’s reply was that had there been a university at Hawick he wouldn’t have come to Edinburgh.

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