Skip to navigation Skip to site search Skip to main content Skip to footer


Abertay announces honorary degree recipients for Summer Ceremonies

27 June 2016

Hon grads July 2016

Top Scots chef Nick Nairn will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Abertay University next week at its Summer Graduation Ceremonies.

Joining him will be social scientist and commentator Professor Laurie Taylor, to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Liberal Arts, and the prominent experimental psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

Nick Nairn is a well-known Scottish chef, food consultant, TV presenter and spokesperson on diet, healthy eating and Scottish produce. His business is based at the acclaimed Nick Nairn Cook School on the shores of the Lake of Menteith. His second Cook School is thriving in Aberdeen. 

Nick’s specialist food consultancy, Nick Nairn Consulting, operates a food range and various food outlets including named restaurants at the Doubletree Hilton, Dunblane Hydro and the Hilton Garden Inn in Aberdeen. 

Nick has sold more than 500,000 copies of 10 different cookery books, and he appears regularly at food events around the country, demonstrating recipes and encouraging everyone to cook at home. He also teaches private cooking sessions at his Cook Schools. 

Nick is a regular on BBC Scotland’s Landward programme, and frequently appears on The One Show, Saturday Kitchen and This Morning. Most recently he has filmed three series of Paul & Nick’s Big Food Trip with fellow chef Paul Rankin, where the pair travel around the coasts of Scotland, Ireland and the eastern USA, tasting food and cooking for local residents. 

In 2012, Nick set up The Menteith Group, dedicated to improving school meals and food education for all pupils in Scotland. This evolved into the Scottish Food Family, which has the same aims with a broader public reach.

Laurie Taylor is visiting professor in the department of politics and sociology at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is a Fellow of Birkbeck College and holds visiting professorships at the University of the Arts and Westminster University. 

He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of Nottingham, Leicester, Queens Belfast, Aberdeen, Goldsmiths College, and Central England. His contributions to social science were recognised in 2003 by his election to the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences. 

Before entering academic life at the University of York, where he later became Professor of Sociology, Laurie had eight years industrial and sales experience, worked as a librarian in Liverpool, taught in a London comprehensive school, and was a professional actor with Joan Littlewood's famous Theatre Workshop Company at Stratford East.  He is the author of fourteen books on motivation, change, communication, and personal identity. His satirical column on university life has appeared in the Times Higher Education Supplement every week for the last 35 years. 

Laurie can currently be heard every Wednesday afternoon on BBC R4 presenting Thinking Allowed, a programme, now in its 15th year, devoted to society and social change. He has recently completed the sixth series of his Sky Arts television interview programme, In Confidence. A book based on the series called In Confidence: Talking Frankly About Fame was published in August 2014.

Professor Richard Wiseman has been described by one Scientific American columnist as  ‘….the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today’.  His research examines a range of psychological topics, including luck, illusion, belief in the paranormal, and change.

He has written several best selling popular psychology books (including The Luck Factor, Quirkology, and 59 Seconds), and has sold over three million copies worldwide.  His YouTube channel has received over 350 million views, has over two million subscribers, and is one of the most watched channels in the UK.  

Richard was listed in the Independent On Sunday’s top 100 people who make Britain a better place to live, and has acted as a consultant for Derren Brown, Brain Games, Your Bleeped Up Brain, and Mythbusters.

Richard began his working life as a professional magician and is a Member of the Inner Magic Circle. He completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh and currently holds Britain’s only Professorship in the Public Understanding of Psychology (University of Hertfordshire).

His research has been published in some of the world’s leading academic journals, including Nature, Psychological Bulletin and the British Journal of Psychology.  He has delivered keynote addresses to organisations across the world, including The Swiss Economic Forum, Google and Amazon.

He currently lives in both Edinburgh and London, and serves on the board of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Picture shows (l-r) Nick Nairn, Laurie Taylor and Richard Wiseman


For media enquiries, please contact Kevin Coe, Media and Communications Director, Abertay University, E:   T:  01382 308452    M:  07850 904110 

Back to News