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Sir Robert Robinson, (13 September 18868 February 1975 ), won the 1947 Nobel Prize in Chemistry [1] for his research on plant dyestuffs (anthocyanins) and alkaloids.

Robert Robinson
Born September 13, 1886
Chesterfield, England
Died February 8, 1975 (aged 88)
Residence England
Nationality English
Fields Chemistry
Institutions University of Sydney,
University of Liverpool,
British Dyestuffs Corporation,
University of Manchester,
University of London,
University of Oxford
Alma mater University of Manchester
Doctoral advisor William Henry Perkin, Jr.
Doctoral students Arthur John Birch William Sage Rapson
Known for Tropinone synthesis
Notable awards Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1947)

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 [2], as is the Robert Robinson Laboratory at the University of Liverpool.


His synthesis of tropinone, a precursor of cocaine, 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.[1] [2]


  1. ^ R. Robinson (1917). "A synthesis of tropinone". Journal of the Chemical Society, Transaction 111: 762 - 768. doi:10.1039/CT9171100762. 
  2. ^ Arthur John Birch (1993). "Investigating a Scientific Legend: The Tropinone Synthesis of Sir Robert Robinson, F.R.S.". Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 47 (2): 277-296. 
  • Abraham E. P. (1987). "Sir Robert Robinson and the early history of penicillin.". Nat Prod Rep. 4 (1): 41 - 46. 
  • Lord Todd; J. W. Cornforth (1976). "Robert Robinson 13 September 1886 -- 8 February 1975". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 22: 414-527. .
  • M. D. Saltzman (1987). "The development of Sir Robert Robinson's contributions to theoretical organic chemistry". Nat. Prod. Rep. 4: 53 - 60. doi:10.1039/NP9870400053. 

Chemistry Encyclopedia

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