Sir Kenneth Calman first began his career in medicine in surgery with an interest in vascular and transplant surgery. He then became Professor of Oncology at the University of Glasgow. This was followed by posts as the Chief Medical Officer in Scotland, and then in England, during which time there were a range of major health issues to be faced. He then moved to become Vice Chancellor of the University of Durham. Finally, he returned to Glasgow as Chancellor of the University in 2006. During this latter time, he was involved in a wide variety of organisations including the National Trust for Scotland, The National Cancer Research Institute, the British Library and the National Library of Scotland, and Chaired a Commission on Scottish Devolution.