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ROBINSON, Robert

( Chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1947.)

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Biography ROBINSON, Robert
ROBINSON, ROBERT (Robinson, Robert) (1886-1975) (United Kingdom). Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1947.

Born September 13, 1886 in the estate of Rufford Farm, near Chesterfield (Derbyshire), the eldest of five children of William Breberi Robinson and Jane Davenport. Family was doing well, being engaged in the production of dressings. When Robert was three years, Robinson settled near New Brampton. Chesterfildskuyu After graduating from high school, Robinson went to Falnekskuyu school - a school of a religious community Moravians, situated between Leeds and Bradford. Robinson remained here until 1902, then enrolled at the University of Manchester.

Department of Chemistry, University of Manchester, which was headed by U.Perkin Jr., was a leading center of research. Member of the faculty then was Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952), the future first president of Israel (1948-1952), a classmate of Robinson - William Haworth (Nobel Laureate, 1937). In 1905, after graduating with honors from University, Robinson began to work in a private research laboratory Perkin. Since 1907, he studied the structure and chemical properties brazilin - dye obtained from a tree.

Robinson returned to the University of Manchester in 1906 and in 1907-1909 became a Fellow. In 1910 he received his doctorate and two years later, at the age of 26, became the first professor of organic chemistry at the University of Sydney in Australia. Robinson headed the Department of Organic Chemistry at Liverpool University (1915-1920), Saint Andrew (1921), Manchester (1922-1928), University College London (1928-1930) and became the successor Perkin at Oxford University.

In 1920, Robinson has worked as head of research firms 'British daystaff Corporation', and in 1929 became a consultant dye firms 'Imperial Chemical Industries Limited'. In 1922 Robinson, along with David Doig Pratt began publishing a series of works on dyes that have the structure benzopirilievyh salts.

However, the main interest for Robinson represented alkaloids. In 1925, together with the employee Dzh.M.Gallandom Robinson studied the structure of morphine and at the same synthesized berberine. The following year he established the structure neopina (beta codeine), and in 1935 synthesized bikukkulin.

Since the preparation gidrastina, narcotine and tropinona (closely related to atropine and cocaine) was not difficult, Robinson believed that in the same way they should be synthesized by plants. His theory of biogenesis of alkaloids was later confirmed by the analysis (with the help of isotope labels) reactions occurring in plants. Thus, he proved biogenetic kinship psevdostrihnina and vomitsina (1948). Synthesized, and then determined the structure of many other alkaloids, including brucine, akuamitsina and (with R. Woodward - Nobel Prize, 1965) Aymalin.

Strychnine Robinson started in 1910, when they, together with Perkin offered erroneous formula of this substance. In 1945, Robinson came to the correct formula of strychnine, and synthesized it in 1954, R. Woodward.

Together with his wife Robinson conducted a study of flower pigments, anthocyanins (blue-red) and antoksantina (yellow). They synthesized many pigments are identical to natural substances, once worked rapid tests determine the pigments and pigment color catalog published.

Another interesting structure for Robinson were steroids. In collaboration with many scientists, including Dzh.U. Cornforth (Nobel Laureate, 1975), Robinson received the female hormone estrone and the three synthetic estrogen: stilbestrol, and geksestrol dienestrol.

Contributed to the electronic theory of organic compounds, in view of the distribution of electrons and mezomerii in aromatic compounds (1922-1926).

After World War II was engaged in explosives and protection against chemical weapons, has become one of the founders and organizers of the chemistry of antibiotic production of antimalarial drugs in the UK.

In 1945-1950 Robinson - President of Royal Society of London and its important role in promoting scientific research in the postwar years, he contributed to the revitalization of the international scientific unions.

In 1947 Robinson was awarded the Nobel Prize 'for the study of biologically important plant products, especially the alkaloids'.

Knowledge of the structure and development of methods for the synthesis of alkaloids is a base for their future industrial production.

The structure of an alkaloid, which is a medicine that serves as a starting point for the discovery of new synthetic drugs. Thus, the synthesis of analogues of cocaine has led to the synthesis of novocaine, an analogue of quinine - to receive quinacrine, etc.. Alkaloids and medicinal substances obtained from searches of their synthetic counterparts, constitute a significant part of modern medicine.

Developed by Robinson in the process of research, synthetic methods and analytical techniques have enriched the arsenal of organic chemists. Thus, in 1937, he created his own method for the synthesis of carbocyclic structures, has found application in practice of organic synthesis, and its theoretical position in the field of organic chemistry included in all modern textbooks.

Together with R. Woodward founded the Journal of Organic Chemistry, 'Tetraedron', in 1957 released his first number. The magazine enjoys well-deserved reputation.

A colleague of Robinson on the University of Manchester Weizman developed a process of cracking oil, which formed the basis of the company 'Petrokemiklz Limited'. Robinson was the director of this company. In 1935, 'Petro Chemicals' was included in the company 'Shell', where he was director, and then until 1975 served as a consultant.

Member of over 30 government committees, some of which he led. In 1947 - the UK delegate at the first Conference of UNESCO. In 1951 - President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and president of the Society of Chemical Industry (1958-1959).

Fond of music, photography and literature. An avid gardener. Working in Australia, they make an ascent in the New Zealand Alps and before the Second World War was on vacation in the mountains of Great Britain, Norway, in the Pyrenees and the Alps. When Robinson was 80 years old, he ascended to the Table Mountain in South Africa.

Repeatedly won the title of chess champion, was president of the British Chess Federation (1950-1953). After 80 years, Robinson became blind, but continued to play chess by correspondence, and for two years before his death, wrote (with R. Edwards) book "The Art and Science of chess.

A few years before his death, Robinson began to write 2-volume autobiography, and the textbook "Introduction to organic chemistry, which was published after his death,.

Died Feb. 8, 1975 in London.


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