Professor Sir David ClaryBack to People

Subjects: Chemistry
Department: Chemistry
College appointment: President
Officer: Head of College
Phone: 01865 276100


Professor Sir David Clary FRS has been President of Magdalen College since 1 September 2005. He also runs a research group in the Chemistry Department at Oxford University. Before coming to Magdalen he was Head of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at Oxford University and a Professorial Fellow of St John’s College. He has held faculty positions at Manchester, Cambridge and UCL. He was a Fellow and Senior Tutor at Magdalene College Cambridge where he is now an Honorary Fellow. His PhD was at Cambridge where he also holds the Sc.D. He was an undergraduate at the University of Sussex where he recently was awarded the Doctor of Science, honoris causa. He was the first Chief Scientific Adviser to the Foreign Office from 2009-13 and before that was President of the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Sir David has been elected to several academies including the Royal Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was Knighted in the 2016 Queen’s birthday honours for services to international science.


Professor Clary teaches a graduate course on Quantum Chemistry. He also gives undergraduate tutorials in this subject.

Research Interests

Quantum theory of chemical reactions and molecular properties.

Selected Publications

Over 300 papers in journals of physical and theoretical chemistry. Professor Clary is Editor of Chemical Physics Letters and is on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science.