Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 1–15 | Cite as

Shmuel Malkin (1934–2017)

Listening to photosynthesis and making music
  • Stephen K. Herbert
  • Yona Siderer
  • Govindjee
History and Biography


We present here the life and work of Shmuel Malkin (1934–2017), an accomplished scientist and a gifted musician who touched the lives of many around the world. His early scientific work addressed the dynamics of light harvesting and electron transport in photosynthesis. Later, he used photoacoustic and photothermal methodologies to explore all aspects of photosynthesis. As a musician, Shmuel played the piano often for family and friends but after his formal retirement, he produced a body of original musical compositions, many of which were performed publicly. Throughout his life, Shmuel was a caring and deeply thoughtful man, respected and loved by colleagues, family, and friends. This tribute presents a summary of Shmuel’s work as well as remembrances written by his wife, Nava Malkin, their son, Eyal Malkinson, and many of his colleagues: Michael Havaux from France; Sandra and Marcel Jansen from Ireland; David Cahen, Marvin Edelmann, Joop and Onnie de Graaf, Jonathan Gressel, Uri Pick, Yona Siderer, and Elisha Tel-Or from Israel; Ulrich Schreiber from Germany; James Barber and Alison Telfer from the UK; Govindjee, Stephen Herbert and Thomas Sharkey from the USA. Minnie Ho and Iris Malkin of the USA wrote contributions about Shmuel’s music.


Bessel Kok Hebrew University Photoacoustic Photosynthesis Research Institute for Advanced Studies Weizmann Institute of Science 



The authors thank all who contributed remembrances and photographs. Nava Malkin, Yosepha Shahak, and Uri & Ronni Pick provided most of the photographs. Due to space restrictions many photographs could not be used here, but several are in the Supplementary Material. We also thank Nurit Malkin for reading the family remembrances. Further, we are grateful to Vandana Chakravartty for editing the entire manuscript for language.

Supplementary material

11120_2018_478_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1190 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Edelstein Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and MedicineThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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