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Fellows Directory

Robin Clark

Robin Clark

Professor Robin Clark CNZM FRS


Elected: 1990


Robin was a chemist renowned for his syntheses and characterisation of transition metal and mixed-valence complexes, and the development of spectroscopic techniques for use at the arts–science interface. Through imaginative development of Raman microscopy, Robin had shown how to characterise pigments used in artwork and the ready identification of forgeries. Through over 500 original publications, 36 books (as author or editor) and many public lectures, he had exerted a major influence on science- and arts-based researchers seeking to better understand and restore artworks.

Robin was a member of many prestigious societies, including the American Philosophical Society and the Royal Institution, where was is an Honorary Fellow. He was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004, shortly after receiving the Sidney Medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand (of which was also an Honorary Fellow). He received the Marci Medal, the Franklin–Lavoisier Prize and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Sir George Stokes Award, as well as presented its Tilden, Nyholm, Liversidge and Thomas Graham lectures.

Professor Robin Clark CNZM FRS died on 6 December 2018.

Biographical Memoir

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, inorganic, Chemistry, physical
  • Other
    • Public understanding of science, Science policy, History of science


Transition Metal Chemistry, Electronic, infrared and Raman spectrocopy , Pigment identification on artwork and artefacts


  • Bakerian Medal and Lecture

    On 'Raman microscopy, pigments and the arts/science interface'.

  • UK-Canada Rutherford Lecture

    On 'An arts/science interface: The identification of pigments on manuscripts, paintings and artefacts by spectroscopic techniques'.

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