Sir Tom Devine is Professor Emeritus in the University of Edinburgh, a historian and author recognised for his work on Scottish history and the global history of the Scottish people.
Educated at Strathclyde University, Tom rose through the academic ranks and in 1992 became Deputy Principal of the University. In 1998 he was appointed Director of the world's first centre of advanced research in Irish and Scottish Studies at Aberdeen. From 2006 he held the Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography, generally regarded as the world's premier Chair of Scottish history.

He has won all three major prizes for Scottish historical research, awards for services to Scottish cultural life, and in 2001 Scotland's top academic accolade, the Royal Gold Medal. He is the only UK historian elected to all three national academies within the British Isles. Awarded the OBE in 2005, his knighthood followed in 2014.

Tom is the author or editor of some two dozen books on such varied topics as emigration, famine, empire, urban history, the Scottish Highlands, sectarianism, identity and rural social history.

Relevant to this lecture, he published Independence or Union: Scotland's Past and Scotland's Present in 2017 (‘Deserves to be read by everyone interested in the future of the United Kingdom – Andrew Marr’)