He was born in Halesworth, Suffolk and attended Colchester Royal Grammar School from 1964–71. He has a BSc (1974) from the University of Sussex and a PhD (1977) and ScD (1997) from the University of Cambridge, where he was at Corpus Christi College. He undertook post-doctoral research at IBM in San Jose, California, and at the University of Manchester.
In 1980, he was appointed Lecturer at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). In 1983, he was appointed Lecturer and then Reader in Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge where he was Fellow and Senior Tutor of Magdalene College. In 1996, he was Director of the Centre for Theoretical and Computational Chemistry and Professor at University College London. In 2002, he moved to the University of Oxford where he was Head of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Professorial Fellow of St John's College.
Professor Clary was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his development of the quantum theory for chemical reactions. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the Institute of Physics; Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science. He has received several medals of the RSC, and the medal of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science.
|President of Magdalen College, Oxford