Sir Robert Robinson
Robert Robinson was born in September 1886 and was educated at Manchester University, coming to Magdalen College as Waynflete Professor of Chemistry in 1930; he remained in post until his retirement in 1955, when he became an Honorary Fellow. His Nobel Prize was awarded in 1947 for his work in organic chemistry. He was President of the Royal Society between 1945 and 1950. He died in February 1975.
Robinson’s first Chair was awarded him at the University of Sydney, New South Wales at the age of 26 and before arriving at Magdalen (where he was to remain for a quarter of a century) he had occupied four other chairs, in addition to a post in industry.
Robinson made important contributions in three distinct and diverse areas of organic chemistry; in chemical theory, in the way that chemical processes occur in plants which are not reproducible in the laboratory and in the structure of natural products. He used to devise ingenious methods of chemical synthesis. He published over 500 papers. He was noted for intense energy and a restlessness of spirit. His Nobel medal is held in Magdalen College.