The Geddes and Branford Project

Envisioning Sociology. Victor Branford, Patrick Geddes, and the Quest for Social ReconstructionPatrick Geddes was a polymath working across biology, sociology, and urban planning, and having a key concern for social reconstruction. Victor Branford was his principal associate in his sociological work and made his own contributions to the subject. Together with a circle of co- workers, they set out a distinctive vision of sociology and built the professional framework they thought was needed for its development. Working initially in Edinburgh and then in London, Branford was the central organiser of sociological activity in the first decades of the twentieth century. While also following a career in finance and banking that took him to New York and involved him in the telephone and railway systems of Cuba, and South America.


Here is an interview in which I give a little background on the project:



Major publications from the Branford project:

The key publication, written jointly with Ray Bromley is the book Envisioning Sociology. Victor Branford, Patrick Geddes, and the Quest for Social Reconstruction (SUNY Press, 2013). Appendices cover some brief remarks on the Branford and Geddes families but a biographical database here covers all the principal persons mentioned in Envisioning Sociology.



'Victor Verasis Branford', ‘Benchara Bertrand Patrick Branford’, and ‘William Catton Branford’, all in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography  

'Victor Branford and the Building of British Sociology' (with Chris Husbands), Sociological Review, 55, 3, 2007

'Doppelgangers and racists: on inhabiting alternative universes. A reply to Steve Fuller's 'A path better not to have been taken'’ (with Maggie Studholme and Chris Husbands), Sociological Review 55, 4, 2007.

'The Edinburgh School of Sociology', Journal of Scottish Thought, 1, 1, 2007.

'Life, The Universe and Everything. An Undiscovered work of Benchara Branford', Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 45, 2, 2009.


The Geddes Circle in Sociology: Ideas, Influence, and Decline’ (with Ray Bromley), Journal of Scottish Thought, 5, 2012.


The Social Theory of Patrick Geddes’, Journal of Classical Sociology, 2016.


I have included here a Gallery of photographs of Victor Branford and his family.