Dr John Highet Scotland England

Biography of Dr John Highet

John Highet graduated in 1944 with a First Class Honours degree in Moral Philosophy from the University, where he became a lecturer in Sociology in 1948 and remained for 20 years.

Highet was born in 1918 in the south side of Glasgow and was educated at Bellahouston Academy and Queen’s Park School before entering the University. Upon graduation, he undertook post-graduate study in Philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford under A. D. Lindsay and obtained his doctorate in 1947 with a thesis on moral authority. He became a lecturer at the University of Glasgow in 1948, and developed his area of research and expertise in ‘applied sociology’. He was visiting professor at Antioch College, Ohio, in 1967 and the next year moved to Aberdeen where he was appointed head of Social Studies at Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology (now Robert Gordon University). He retired from this role in 1981.

His pioneering work on the sociology of Scottish religion, together with the statistics he gathered on Scottish church membership and attendance were highly influential. He was closely involved with the Church of Scotland and a member of a number of its committees. His study of fee-paying education in Scotland in 1969 also yielded powerful results and had a marked effect on some leading headmasters of independent schools.

Highet was a member of the British Sociological Association, the Association of University Teachers, the Glasgow marriage Guidance Council, and the Saltire Society. While in Aberdeen he served on the Grampian Health Board's Commission on the Misuse of Drugs.

Dr John Highet died in 1996 aged 78.


Dr John Highet
Born 25 February 1918.
Died 14 October 1996.
GU Degree: MA, 1944; Moral Philosophy,
University Link: Graduate, Lecturer
Occupation categories: sociologists
Record last updated: 30th Oct 2013

Country Associations

Scotland Scotland, Glasgow
Place of Birth

England England, York
Place of Death

University Connections

University Roles

  • Graduate
  • Lecturer