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In memoriam: The Late Professor Richard Robinson

In memoriam: The Late Professor Richard Robinson

1942 – 2022

Dr Ming Lim & Dr Alasdair Parker

It was with great sadness that we at Mac Keith Press learned of the death of Professor Richard Robinson earlier this year. Professor Robinson was a wise and esteemed colleague of long-standing whose contribution to the Press’ work over the years is incalculable.

A paediatric neurologist, Professor Robinson acted as British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) representative on the Mac Keith Press Editorial Board. He was ultimately made an honorary member of the Board, along with Professor Jean Aicardi. When Professor Robinson was asked to review recent issues of Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology for Board meetings, we were always grateful for his precise and constructive comments.

Early in his career, he worked with Dr Ronnie Mac Keith at the Evelina Children’s Hospital and the Newcomen Centre. Professor Robinson was past president of the BPNA and secretary general of the European Federation of Child Neurology Societies. He was also a member of the expert group for the Progressive Intellectual and Neurological Deterioration study for new variant CJD surveillance.

After he retired from Guys and St Thomas, Professor Robinson continued his work for Mac Keith Press. He recently wrote the Foreword to The Musculoskeletal System in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Philosophical Approach to Management by Martin Gough and Adam Shortland (2022).


Pictured above: Professor Richard Robinson

‘Richard was a key figure in the development of paediatric neurology in the UK. He had a hugely stimulating intellect and was a great friend to all those who worked with him. He was one of three professors of paediatric neurology at Guy’s Hospital and was part of the team that continued the tradition, pioneered by Ronnie Mac Keith, of multidisciplinary work to assess children with neurodevelopmental problems and provide support for their families. He brought his extensive experience and wisdom to the Mac Keith Press Editorial Board, continuing to participate actively as an emeritus member. His witty and rigorous contributions were such an essential part of Board meetings that it is hard to imagine them taking place without him.’

Dr Christopher Verity

‘Some years ago Dr Adam Shortland and I were invited to write a book on musculoskeletal development in children with cerebral palsy and the implications for clinical management. Professor Robinson was strongly supportive over the years it took us to write the book, encouraging us to continue and complete it. He reviewed the first draft of the book and made a number of helpful and constructive suggestions which greatly improved the format and cohesion of the final proofs. We invited him to write an introduction to the book, and were humbled by his warm and extremely generous foreword.’

Dr Martin Gough

‘Richard was an excellent clinician, teacher, and researcher who just knew so much about everything. Someone who was knowledgeable and experienced, wonderful with the children and gently explanatory with any family. It was a pleasure seeing families with him. He contributed greatly to paediatric neurology and neurodisability in particular through Mac Keith Press where he was on the Board and contributed many articles and chapters to books over the 40 years he was active clinically. He continued to be involved in retirement while also extending his interest in orchids to the entire British Isles flora, becoming an outstanding botanist as well as enjoying choral singing and enhancing village life developing a first-responder team during Covid. He was both loved and respected by his colleagues, and trained many of the current paediatric neurologists who remember him as an excellent teacher and inspiring clinician.’

Dr Gillian Nicholson

‘Richard dressed carefully in suit/tie and his bag of equipment/toys were ever ready. His luxuriant beard further added to families’ impression that his was a superior clinical opinion to those of his juniors. If he had one failing, it was putting his trainees in the invidious position of introducing themselves to Bermondsey mothers, who were consistent in expressing their disappointment that they were not seeing the Professor!’
Dr Ming Lim and Dr Alasdair Parker

On behalf of all of Professor Robinson’s trainees

Post by Dr Ming Lim & Dr Alasdair Parker

Read Robin Stott’s tribute in The Guardian here: