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Professor Sir Donald MacKay – an appreciation

By Geoff Mawdsley, Director, Reform Scotland

Professor Sir Donald MacKay joined the Advisory Board of Reform Scotland in June 2008, shortly after Reform Scotland merged with the Policy Institute.  From the start, his enormous enthusiasm meant he was a constant source of new ideas for papers and was always willing to make constructive suggestions on upcoming reports or write trenchant blog pieces.  His deep knowledge and understanding of the Scottish liberal tradition and its relevance to the current policy debate ensured that all his contributions were telling.  In particular, he edited a publication for Reform Scotland in 2011 entitled ‘Scotland’s Economic Future’.  Many of the contributions are still relevant today, including Donald’s own chapter on what Home Rule means for Economic Policy, a subject on which he was both passionate and insightful.  It is testament both to his warm and engaging personality and the enduring friendships that he had cultivated over the years that he managed to cajole such a diverse range of distinguished academics and business people to write chapters for free.  However, it was not surprising given his unfailing courtesy and good humour.  It is this, as much as his keen intellect, that will be missed most by everyone at Reform Scotland.