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John S Warren is best described as an ‘independent researcher’ in history, in the field of what is known as ‘intellectual history’; focusing on early evolutionary theory and the Scottish Enlightenment. His professional background however is not of a life spent in academia. He is, rather a retired businessman, having spent his whole career in the commercial world. When he retired back to Scotland from near London, he had a strong desire to study the history of ideas and returned to his old university (Glasgow University) where he had studied long before as both undergraduate and graduate, to take a further post-graduate degree in history.
He was born in Glasgow and his background was from a small ‘family business’ in ballroom dancing. He worked in Financial Analysis for Scottish & Newcastle Breweries at their HQ in Edinburgh (the offices in Horse Wynd now occupied by the Scottish Parliament); later for a small conglomerate, the Ellerman Group, and has also worked as a freelance consultant. He joined Scottish Television, where he reported to the CEO as Head of Business Development. Finally he joined Waterfall Holdings plc, based near London, where as Commercial Director he played a leading role in building a small diversified leisure group from ‘scratch’; IPO, Aim-listing, Full-listing, Rights Issue, and even mounting a hostile bid; while building the business day and daily, by undertaking small ad-hoc acquisitions; until the company itself was subject to a take-over bid, around a decade or so later. On its completion, he retired – to do something that was really much closer to his heart, and his real interests: the study of history.
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