Robert Williams (chemist)

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Bob Williams

Born(1926-02-25)25 February 1926
Died21 March 2015(2015-03-21) (aged 89)
Alma materMerton College, Oxford
Known forIrving–Williams series
Jelly Büchli (m. 1952)
AwardsRoyal Medal
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford
ThesisAn investigation of the complex compounds of some metals (1950)
Doctoral studentsPeter Day[3]

Robert Joseph Paton Williams MBE FRS[4] (25 February 1926 – 21 March 2015) was an English chemist, an Emeritus Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford[5] and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Oxford.[1][6][7][8]


Williams was educated at Merton College, Oxford for both his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from 1944 to 1950.[1][9] He then spent a year doing postdoctoral research with Arne Tiselius in the Biochemistry Laboratory at Uppsala, Sweden, where he met Jelly Büchli, whom he married in 1952.[citation needed]

Research and career[edit]

A particular focus of his research was on bioinorganic chemistry. Together with Harry Irving he formulated the well-known Irving–Williams series.[citation needed]

Awards and honours[edit]

Williams was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to the community in North Oxford.[10]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1972[4] and was a Foreign Member of the Swedish, Portuguese, Czechoslovakian and Belgian science academies.[citation needed] He was a medallist of the Biochemical Society (twice), the Royal Society (twice), the Royal Society of Chemistry (three times), the European Biochemical Societies (twice) and the International Union of Biochemistry. He won the Royal Medal in 1995.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Anon (2015). "In Memoriam RJP (Bob) Williams". University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016.
  2. ^ B. L. Vallee & R. J. P. Williams (1968). "Metalloenzymes: the entatic nature of their active sites". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 59 (2): 498–505. doi:10.1073/pnas.59.2.498. PMC 224700. PMID 5238980.
  3. ^ Day, Peter (1965). Light induced charge transfer in solids (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. OCLC 944386301.
  4. ^ a b Hill, H. A. O.; Thomson, A. J. (2016). "Robert Joseph Paton Williams MBE. 25 February 1926 – 21 March 2015". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. London: Royal Society. 62: 541–570. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2016.0020.
  5. ^ "Bob Williams". Wadham College, University of Oxford. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  6. ^ Thomson, Andrew J (2015). "Professor Robert JP Williams FRS (25/2/1926–21/3/2015)". JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry. 20 (4): 617–618. doi:10.1007/s00775-015-1262-6. ISSN 0949-8257.
  7. ^ Mann, Stephen; Thomson, Andrew J. (2015). "Robert J. P. Williams (1926–2015)". Angewandte Chemie. 127 (27): 7856–7856. doi:10.1002/ange.201504131. ISSN 0044-8249.
  8. ^ Anon (2015). "R J P Williams (1926–2015)". University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 9 February 2016.
  9. ^ Williams, Robert Joseph Paton (1950). An investigation of the complex compounds of some metals (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford.
  10. ^ "No. 59282". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2009. p. 23.
  11. ^ "Royal Medal". Retrieved 6 December 2008.

External links[edit]