TOM BURNS went to Edinburgh University as a Research Lecturer in Social Studies in 1949, and 15 years later was a founding member of the university’s Department of Sociology. He was appointed Professor in 1965, also serving as Head of Department.
He taught and practised sociology with vigour and imagination. Organisations, which he saw as collaborative systems, fascinated him and he was a committed researcher, whose comments on the research process remain of great value. Even as a senior professor he remained a hands- on interviewer in a range of contexts: including industry, the BBC and the NHS.
Obituary, Independent, The (London), Aug 20, 2001
Obituary and Appreciation by colleagues at the University of Edinburgh