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Prof. John Glaister


1856 - 1932

Forensic scientist. Born in Lanark, Glaister was educated at Lanark Grammar School and the University of Glasgow, where he studied medicine. He became a general practitioner in Townhead (Glasgow) and also served as a police surgeon. In 1881, Glaister was appointed a lecturer at the Medical School of Glasgow Royal Infirmary, which later became St. Mungo's College of Medicine. He was promoted to Professor of Forensic Medicine and Public Health in 1889 and appointed to the Regius Chair of Forensic Medicine and Public Health at the University of Glasgow in 1898. He was a noted expert witness in many legal cases.

His best known work, A Textbook of Medical Jurisprudence, Toxicology and Public Health (1902) appeared in many editions and was updated by Glaister's son - also John - who took over the Regius Chair of Forensic Medicine at Glasgow in 1931.

Glaister also served as President of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons (1907-09). The University of Glasgow awarded him an honorary degree in 1931 and the Glaister Prize is named in his honour.


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