Diagnostic Society

We are the University of Edinburgh's oldest society, for 231 years we have been the centre of free thought and discussion in the Scottish capital.


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

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Welcome to the Diagnostic Society of Edinburgh,


We a different kind of debating society with an edge of theatricalityhumor, and eccentricty

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. While reason is still rewarded we prefer speeches with a sense of humor and fun

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, you can find out the details on our facebook page: Diagnostic Society of Edinburgh

We also have a number of events around the year, including our society dinners at the ends of Semsesters 1 and 2 and our infamous paintballing trip due to make a return this year. 

Friendships for life have been formed here (we regularly welcome back members who have graduated many years ago) and we look forward to welcoming you to the CCXXXI Session.


Tom Woods
Miranda Barrett
Harin Wijayathunga