Robert G. W. Anderson is the former president and CEO of the Science History Institute, a role he held from January 2017 through May 2020. He was previously interim president and served as a board member since 2006. He directed all operations at the Institute, working in conjunction with the Board of Directors, Board of Overseers, Heritage Council, and senior leadership to fulfill the Institute’s commitment to making our scientific past accessible to all. He was instrumental in guiding the transformation of the Chemical Heritage Foundation into the Science History Institute in February 2018.
Anderson, who holds several degrees from the University of Oxford—including in chemistry, inelastic neutron scattering, and British archaeology—began his museum career as a history of science curator at the Royal Scottish Museum. He later moved on to the Science Museum in London, where he became head of the chemistry department, returning to Scotland to oversee the merger of the Royal Scottish Museum and the Museum of Antiquities into the National Museum. From 1992 to 2002 he was director of the British Museum.
An award-winning researcher and scholar, Anderson has also served as a board member at many science history, museum, and humanities organizations in Europe and the United States. Other roles include vice president for Cambridge University’s Clare Hall graduate college and president of the British Society for the History of Science.