Wilson, Peter N. 1928-2004

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WILSON, Peter N. 1928-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born April 4, 1928, in Beckenham, Kent, England; died February 1, 2004, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Educator, researcher, and author. Wilson was a respected agricultural researcher and former head of the Edinburgh School of Agriculture. After earning his B.Sc. and M.Sc. at Wye College in 1949 and 1951 respectively, he received a diploma in genetics from the University of Edinburgh in 1951 and a doctorate in agriculture from London University. He then set out for Uganda, where he was a lecturer in agriculture at the University of East Africa for six years while simultaneously working with farmers to improve cattle breeding practices. Next, he traveled to Trinidad, where he worked for the University of the West Indies' Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture through 1964, as well as governor of the Eastern Caribbean Farm Institute. After starting a family, Wilson decided to return to England for his children's education. For the first several years back home, he worked as a senior scientist for Unilever Research Laboratory, as director of Silcock & Lever Feeds, and, from 1971 to 1983, as chief agricultural advisor for BOCM Silcock. With this extensive background in the agriculture industry, Wilson was welcomed to the University of Edinburgh in 1984, where he became professor of agriculture and rural economy, principal of East of Scotland College of Agriculture, and head of the Edinburgh School of Agriculture until 1990, when he retired. His agricultural research and contributions to education led him to be named a Commander of the British Empire in 1986; he earned the Bicentenary Medal of the Society from the Rotary Club in 2002, and was also awarded the Farmers Club Gold Cup for distinguished service to research; other honors included fellowships at the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1996, a Paul Harris Fellowship for distinguished service to the movement in 2003, and an honorary doctorate from the Institute of Aquaculture at Sterling University. While at Edinburgh, Wilson worked hard at raising agricultural standards at the university in order to attract researchers to the institution; he also advised the government on how to improve agricultural research. His later years remained busy, as he continued his work as scientific director of the Edinburgh Centre for Rural Research until 1997, chaired the Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust until 1999, served various officer positions in the Institute of Biology, chaired the Agricultural Veterinarian and Food Science Sub-Committee of the Higher Education Funding Council in 1992 and 1996, was general secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from 1996 to 2001, and was president of the Scotia Club from 1991 to 1994 and of the Edinburgh Agricultural Society from 1992 to 1994. Wilson was the coauthor of Agriculture in the Tropics (1966; 3rd edition, 1999), and author of Tale of Two Trusts: An Account of the Frank Parkinson Trusts (2000) and the autobiography Purchase Two Kilts (2001).



Bush Telegraph (Glasgow, Scotland), spring, 2004, pp. 8-9.

Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), February 24, 2004, p. 18.

Independent (London, England), February 11, 2004, p. 41.


eBulletin,http://www.ed.ac.uk/ (April 22, 2004).

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