Sir Robert Robinson  (13 September 1886 – 8 February 1975) was a British organic chemist and Nobel laureate recognised in 1947 for his research on plant dyestuffs (anthocyanins) and alkaloids. In 1947, he also received the Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm.
|48th President of the Royal Society|
|Preceded by||Sir Henry Hallett Dale|
|Succeeded by||Edgar Adrian|
|Born||13 September 1886|
|Died||8 February 1975 (aged 88)|
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England
|Alma mater||University of Manchester|
|Known for||Development of Organic synthesis|
|Spouse(s)||Gertrude Maud Robinson|
|Awards||Davy Medal (1930)|
Royal Medal (1932)
Copley Medal (1942)
Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1947)
Franklin Medal (1947)
Albert Medal (1947)
Faraday Lectureship Prize (1947)
|Institutions||University of Sydney|
University of Liverpool
British Dyestuffs Corporation
University of Manchester
University College London
University of Oxford
|Doctoral advisor||William Henry Perkin, Jr.|
|Doctoral students||Sir Edward Abraham|
Arthur John Birch
William Sage Rapson
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Geobiography of Robert Robinson.|
Robinson went to school at the Chesterfield Grammar School and the private Fulneck School. He then studied chemistry at the University of Manchester, graduating BSc in 1905. In 1907 he was awarded an 1851 Research Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to continue his research at the University of Manchester.
He was appointed as the first Professor of Pure and Applied Organic Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney in 1912. He was briefly at St Andrews University (1920–22) and then was offered the Chair of Organic Chemistry at Manchester University. In 1928 he moved from there to be a professor at University College London where he stayed only two years. He was the Waynflete Professor of Chemistry at Oxford University from 1930 and a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford.
Robinson Close, in the Science Area at Oxford, is named after him, as is the Robert Robinson Laboratory at the University of Liverpool, the Sir Robert Robinson Laboratory of Organic Chemistry at the University of Manchester and the Robinson and Cornforth Laboratories at the University of Sydney.
Robinson was a strong amateur chess player. He represented Oxford University in a friendly match with a team from Bletchley Park in December 1944; in which he lost his game to pioneering computer scientist I. J. Good. He was president of the British Chess Federation from 1950 to 1953, and with Raymond Edwards he co-authored the book The Art and Science of Chess (Batsford, 1972).
His synthesis of tropinone (a precursor for atropine & benztropine) in 1917 was not only a big step in alkaloid chemistry but also showed that tandem reactions in a one-pot synthesis are capable of forming bicyclic molecules.
He invented the symbol for benzene having a circle in the middle whilst working at St Andrews University in 1923. He is known for inventing the use of the curly arrow to represent electron movement, and he is also known for discovering the molecular structures of morphine and penicillin.Robinson annulation has had application in the total synthesis of steroids.
He married twice. In 1912 he married Gertrude Maud Walsh. Following her death in 1954, in 1957 he married a widow, Mrs Stern Sylvia Hillstrom (née Hershey).