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Fellows Directory

David Phillips

David Phillips

Credit: Professor David Phillips

Professor David Phillips CBE FRS


Elected: 2015


David Phillips received his PhD in 1964. After conducting research abroad, he lectured at the University of Southampton then moved to the Royal Institution, later becoming its Deputy Director. David joined Imperial College in 1989 as Professor of Physical Chemistry, serving as Head of the Department of Chemistry and Dean of the Faculties of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences before retiring in 2006.

His research interests include the fundamentals and applications of photochemistry and photophysics, fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) and photodynamic therapy. He has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Nyholm Prize for Education, and the Royal Society Michael Faraday Award for his contributions to the public understanding of science.

David has received an OBE for services to science education, and a CBE for services to chemistry. He is former President of the RSC (2010–2012) and has chaired the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum since 2013. He is an Honorary Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute, the Royal Institution and the British Science Society, and holds honorary degrees from several universities.

Professional positions

Emeritus Professor , Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London
Member, Scientific Advisory Board, The National Gallery
Member, Nominations Committee, Royal Institution Of Great Britain
Member, Government Affairs Committee, Royal Society of Chemistry
Member, Pan-African Chemistry Network, Royal Society of Chemistry
Former President, Royal Society of Chemistry
Chairman, UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum, Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), DEFRA
Trustee, National Gas Museum Trust

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, physical, Chemistry, biological
  • Other
    • History of science


Photochemistry, photophysics, Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, FLIM, Photodynamic therapy


  • Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture

    For his outstanding talents in the communication of scientific principles, methods and applications to young audiences through his many demonstration lectures with wit, clarity and enthusiasm on a wide variety of topics from basic science to modern laser

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