Sir John Peebles Arbuthnott (born 8 April 1939) is a Scottish microbiologist, and was Principal of the University of Strathclyde.

Arbuthnott was educated at Hyndland Secondary School, Glasgow University (BSc, PhD), and Trinity College, Dublin (MA, ScD).[1] In 1998 he was made a Knight Bachelor for services to education.[1]

Whilst Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Strathclyde University, Arbuthnott chaired the National Review of Resource Allocation ("The Arbuthnott Report")[2] in December 1997, the principal task of which was to conduct an independent review of the way in which NHS money is allocated annually to the 14 Scottish NHS Boards. The resulting mechanism, known as the Arbuthnott Formula, assesses key indicators of population, inequality and deprivation of the areas covered by each of the boards to allocate money.

He was chair of the Arbuthnott Commission set up in 2004 to consider the consequences of having four separate voting systems for elections in Scotland and also different boundaries for Holyrood and Westminster constituencies.[1]

Professional posts[]

  • Glasgow University:
    • Assistant lecturer, 1960-1963
    • Lecturer, 1963-1967
  • New York Medical Center: Visiting lecturer, 1966-1967
  • Royal Society: Research fellow, 1968-72
  • Glasgow University: Senior lecturer, Department of Bacteriology, 1972-1975
  • Trinity College, Dublin:
    • Professor of microbiology 1976-1988
    • Bursar, 1983-86
  • University of Nottingham: Professor of microbiology 1988-1991
  • University of Strathclyde, Glasgow: Principal and Vice-Chancellor, 1991-2000

Professional committee work[]

  • Chairman, Joint Information Systems Committee, 1993-98
  • Chairman, Greater Glasgow Health Board, November 2002-
  • Chairman, Commission Report on Boundary Differences and Voting Systems, 2005-6
  • Convener, Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals, 1994-1996
  • Convener, National Review of Allocation of Health Resources in Scotland, 1997-1999
  • Vice Chairman, CVCP, 1997-99
  • Secretary-Treasurer, Carnegie Trust for the University of Scotland, 2000-
  • Member of the Council, Society of General Microbiology 1981-1986, (senior ed 1980-1984, treasurer 1987-1992)
  • Meetings secretary, Federation of European Microbiology Societies, 1986-1990
  • Member, Microbiological Safety of Food Committee, 1989-1990
  • Member, AFRC Animal Research Board, 1989-1992
  • Member, Public Health Laboratory Service Board, 1991-1997
  • Member, DTI Multimedia Advisroy Group, 1994-1996
  • Member, Educational Counselling Service Board, British Council, 1995-1996
  • Member, Glasgow Development Agency, 1995-
  • Member, National Committee of Enquiry into Higher Education, 1996-97
  • Member, Scottish Science Trust, 1999
  • Member, Pathological Society

Professional honours[]

  • Honorary fellow, Trinity College, Dublin 1992
  • MRIA 1985
  • FIBiol 1988
  • FRSA 1989
  • FRSE 1993
  • FIIB 1993
  • FRCPath 1995
  • Hon FRCPGlasg


  • Arbuthnott, John Peebles, et al., editors (1975). Isoelectric Focusing. 
  • Arbuthnott, John Peebles, et al. (1983). The Determinants of Bacterial and Viral Pathogenicity. 
  • Arbuthnott, John Peebles, et al. (1991). Foodborne Illness: a Lancet Review. 
  • Numerous papers and articles in journals and books.

External links[]


Academic offices
Preceded by
Graham John Hills
Principal and Vice-chancellor
University of Strathclyde

Succeeded by
Andrew Hamnett
Medical appointments
Preceded by
Professor David L Hamblen CBE
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board

Succeeded by
Andrew Robertson OBE


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at John Peebles Arbuthnott. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.