David was born privately and educated publicly at the Ayr Academy and the University of Glasgow, where he graduated in Medicine.

After 18 months at sea as Ship’s Surgeon with P&O (SS Canberra) he embarked on his medical Academic & Research career, ending as Clinical Dean of the University of Leeds Medical School, and is now a Professor Emeritus.


He is presently one of the 32 Fellows of The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, (IASH) of the University of Edinburgh.
IASH Fellows conduct research in the fields of:  Classics; Philosophy; History and English Literature.


David’s own field of interest is the literary and scientific components of the literature of the 18th century Enlightenment; his current work being on the philosophy of David Hume, on which he will lecture as visiting Gilbert Fellow at Princeton University in April 2018


He is the Editor-in-Chief of the 4th Edition of The Burns Encyclopaedia, which covers the life & work of the poet - and the Editor of new Editions of Sir Walter Scott’s novels Ivanhoe and The Heart of Midlothian.  

His hilarious experiences as The Dean of the (entirely fictional) St Andrews College in Edinburgh were published as The Dean’s Diaries in 2014


Otherwise, David is a Parliamentary speech advisor and Editor for several (truthful) Members of the House of Commons - and for certain other public figures in the sports and showbusiness fields.

His after-Dinner speeches are in great demand at home and abroad – he being described by the Daily Telegraph as, ‘Arguably our best of the moment’.  

His home is in Edinburgh, where he is a Patron of the National Library and the National Gallery.

Professor David W. Purdie   MD   FRCP Ed.  FRSSA  

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Former Ship's Surgeon

Experienced Cruise Speaker

All talks are fully illustrated with PowerPoint images from: UK National Archives, Academic sources; Getty images etc.


Medicine & Science:

The Evolution of Humankind.  Out of Africa - but where next?

Fit and not Fragile’ – the Secret of Aging gracefully.

Osteoporosis: The Causes, detection and treatment of brittle-bones

The Universe around us: Whence came it – and whither bound ?



Our Union: England and Scotland: United - but Bonded ?  

The Two Island story: Ireland and Gt. Britain. 

The Enlightenment: Morning of the modern World.

Britain of the 18th Century: Empire and Innovation.

The UK and the Orient: Malaya to Malaysia - and Singapore.

Captain Cook’s legacy: The UK, Australia and NZ.

The High Renaissance: The Florence of Michelangelo and Raphael. 

The Classical Athens of Pericles and Socrates.