The Diagnostic Society of Edinburgh



Welcome to the Diagnostic Society of Edinburgh,


We are Edinburgh’s oldest society and can trace our origins to the Dialectic Society, founded in 1787. The Diagnostic Society, as it is now constituted, was founded in 1816 by a group of Church of Scotland ministers seeking to bring a more reasoned style to public debate. The Society is a product of the Scottish Enlightenment, and has been a part of the fabric of the University of Edinburgh ever since. We were awarded a Grant of Arms by the Lord Lyon, King at Arms, in 1975, which recognises the immense contribution that the Society has made to both the City and University of Edinburgh, and recognises our claim to be Edinburgh University’s oldest society.

Our meetings take place every second Thursday in term time in Old College. We also have a Founders’ Feast in December and a Diagnostic Dinner in May. Friendships for life have been formed here (we regularly welcome back members who have graduated many years ago) and we hope to welcome you into our halls in the CCXXX Session.


  • Diagnostic Society Student Membership£10.00
  • Diagnostic Society Non Student Membership£10.00
  • Diagnostic Society Full Year Student Membership£15.00

List of Office-Bearers for the CCXXX Session


All of the above can be contacted at

Our Laws

Our laws, which have been updated continually since the Society's foundation in 1816, can be found here: