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Interview: Adam Smith

The author of the Wealth of Nations, back in Glasgow for a university fundraiser, has some surprising ideas on international development, taxation and the role of the state

By Iain McLean   June 2006

The scene is a fundraising event in Glasgow University. The canapés and conversation are flowing freely in the Hunterian Museum. The dean of the faculty of social sciences is talking to Adam Smith (professor of logic 1751-52; of moral philosophy 1752-64). Iain McLean is eavesdropping behind a display case, which houses the model Newcomen engine that James Watt (mathematical instrument-maker in the department of natural philosophy, 1757-64), was asked to repair.

Dean Welcome Dr Smith! We are always pleased to see our distinguished former staff returning. Indeed, we are so proud of you that we have named one…

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