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Dr Robin Mackie

Robin Mackie photo

Profile summary

  • Lead Staff Tutor
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • History
  • robin.mackie

Professional biography

I am a Staff Tutor and have recently moved to the Edinburgh office to work for the Open University in Scotland. I studied at Edinburgh University, completing a PhD on business in twentieth-century Scotland in 1995. I have worked for the Open University since 1993, first as an Associate Lecturer and later as a Research Fellow in the Department of History of Science, Technology and Medicine, working with Dr Gerrylynn Roberts on a project on the social history of chemistry entitled: ‘Studies of the British Chemical Community, 1881-1972: the Principal Institutions’. From 2002 to 2013, I was Staff Tutor in the OU’s Nottingham office. I was Head of the History Department from the beginning of 2012 until the end of 2015.

Research interests

My research interests are also in nineteenth and twentieth century British economic and social history, and, in particular, business history and the relations between education, science and industry. Some of my publications are linked to the social history of chemistry project. Others are in business history, and in particular on the links between family and firms. I am also a member of the Open University’s British and Irish History Research Group.

I co-supervised a PhD, completed in 2009 by Stephen Swinfin entitled ‘The demand for chemists in the Manchester Area in 1900-1939 and how it was filled’.

Publications include:

Bearing ‘the burden and heat of the day’: the experience of business failure in Douglas and Grant Ltd.Business History, 2012, 54 (5), pp. 689-712.

‘“To provide for the settlement of my affairs”: inheritance and ownership in family firms during the transition to limited liability’, in R Hjerppe, E. Vaaro, A. Kuustera and S. Fellman (eds) Historical Perspectives on Corporate Governance: Reflections on Ownership, Participation and Different Modes of Organizing, Helsinki: 2008, Commentationes Scientiarum Socialium.

Chemical societies and the demarcation of the British chemical community, 1870-1914’, in Kildebaek Nielsen, A and Strbanova, S eds. Creating Networks in Chemistry. The Founding and Early History of Chemical Societies in Europe. Cambridge: 2008, Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 140–161.

Counting chemists: the distribution of chemical expertise in Scotland in the first half of the twentieth century’. Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 2007, 27(1), pp. 48–74.

(with Gerrylynn K. Roberts), ‘Career patterns in the British chemical profession in the twentieth century’ in Mitch, David; Brown, John and Van Leeuwen, Marco H. D. eds. Origins of the modern career. Aldershot, UK: 2004, Ashgate, pp. 317–336

‘“Best for the family”: researching families and business’, Family and Community History, 2001, 4, 1 pp. 31-44

‘Family ownership and business survival, Kirkcaldy, 1870-1970’, Business History, 2001, 43, 3, pp. 1-32

‘Industry in Kirkcaldy: Mapping the Structure of Business in Twentieth-Century Scotland’, Scottish Economic and Social History, 1998, 18, pp. 61-84

Teaching interests

My main teaching interests are in nineteenth and twentieth British economic and social history. I have taught on a number of the Open University’s history modules, most recently on the History MA. I have also contributed units to both inter-disciplinary and history  modules including AA100 The Arts Past and Present, A200 Exploring History: Medieval to Modern, 1400-1900, and A326 Empire, 1492-1975, on which I was co-chair during production. Most recently, I have helped produce the department’s new level three module on twentieth century history, A327, Europe, 1914-1989: War, Peace, Modernity, which was launched in October 2013.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Biographical Methodologies Research ClusterClusterFaculty of Arts
British and Irish History GroupGroupFaculty of Arts

Publications

Bearing ‘the burden and heat of the day’: the experience of business failure in Douglas and Grant Ltd (2012-08)
Mackie, Robin
Business History, 54(5) (pp. 689-712)
Counting chemists: the distribution of chemical expertise in Scotland in the first half of the twentieth century (2007-07)
Mackie, Robin
Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 27(1) (pp. 48-74)
Family ownership and business survival: Kirkcaldy, 1870-1970 (2001-07-01)
Mackie, R.
Business History, 43(3) (pp. 1-32)
'Best for the family': researching families and business (2001-05)
Mackie, Robin
Family and Community History, 4(1) (pp. 31-44)
Chemical Careers in Postwar Britain: Centrifugal Discipline / Centripetal Profession? (2008-12)
Mackie, Robin and Roberts, Gerrylynn
In: Bertomeu-Sánchez, José Ramón; Burns, Duncan Thorburn and Van Tiggelen, Brigitte eds. Neighbours and Territories: The Evolving Identity of Chemistry (pp. 565-573)
ISBN : 978-2-9600815-0-3 | Publisher : Mémosciences asbl | Published : Louvain-la-neuve, Belgium
'To provide for the settlement of my affairs': inheritance and ownership in family firms during the transition to limited liability (2008-01)
Mackie, Robin
In: Fellman, Susanna; Vaara, Eero and Kuusterèa, Antti eds. Historical Perspectives on Corporate Governance: Reflections on Ownership Participation and Different Modes of Organizing. Commentationes Scientiarum Socialium (72) (pp. 157-171)
ISBN : 9789516533653 | Publisher : Finnish Society of Science and Letters | Published : Helsinki, Finland
Chemical societies and the demarcation of the British chemical community, 1870-1914 (2008)
Mackie, Robin
In: Kildebaek Nielsen, A and Strbanova, S eds. Creating Networks in Chemistry. The Founding and Early History of Chemical Societies in Europe (pp. 140-161)
ISBN : 0-85404-279-2 | Publisher : Royal Society of Chemistry | Published : Cambridge
Career patterns in the British chemical profession in the twentieth century (2004-07)
Mackie, Robin and Roberts, Gerrylynn K.
In: Mitch, David; Brown, John and Van Leeuwen, Marco H. D. eds. Origins of the modern career (pp. 317-336)
ISBN : 754634965 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot, UK
La professionalizzazione della chimica (2003)
Mackie, Robin and Roberts, Gerrylynn
In: Petruccioli, Sandro ed. La Scienza dell '800. Storia della Scienza (sez E) (pp. 520-526)
Publisher : Istituto dell Enciclopedia Italiana fondata da Giovanni Treccani | Published : Rome, Italy
The Educational paths and career choices of chemists in Britain, 1918-1943 (2002)
Mackie, Robin
In: Despy-Meyer, A ed. Institutions and Societies for Teaching, Research and Popularisation: Proceedings of the XXth International Congress of History of Science (Liège, 20-26 July 1997) Vol. XIX (pp. 125-134)
ISBN : 9782503514130 | Publisher : Brepols | Published : Turnhout, Belgium
Un secteur à part? Les chimistes industriels et la Society of Chemical Industry dans le contexte de la communauté chimique britannique (2001-05)
Mackie, Robin and Roberts, Gerrylynn K.
In: Fell, Ulrike ed. Chimie et Industrie en Europe: L’apport des sociétés savantes industrielles du XIXe siècle à nos jours (pp. 127-147)
ISBN : 2914610025 | Publisher : Editions des archives contemporaines | Published : Paris, France
Biographical Database of the British Chemical Community, 1880-1970. 2nd edition (2006)
Mackie, Robin L. and Roberts, Gerrylynn K.
The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

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