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“Indigo - A Story of Craft, Religion, History, Science and Culture,” Dr. Roald Hoffmann

2012 Linus Pauling Legacy Award

April 19, 2012

Speaker Biography

Roald Hoffmann
Roald Hoffmann (Cornell University)

“Indigo - A Story of Craft, Religion, History, Science and Culture”  Watch Video

A renowned speaker and writer, Roald Hoffmann is best known within scientific circles for his work in applied theoretical chemistry. With Kenichi Fukui, he received the 1981 Nobel Chemistry medal "for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions." Much of Hoffmann's career as a chemist has been devoted to determining the structure and properties of large molecules and to communicating these characteristics to both professional colleagues and students alike.

Hoffmann has likewise contributed significantly to improving science education for the general public. He participated in the production of a popular television program titled "The World of Chemistry" (1990) and has published a number of books written for the lay science enthusiast. Hoffmann has also made his mark as an author of fiction through the release of numerous collections of poetry as well as three plays. One theatrical production, "Oxygen," was co-written with chemist Carl Djerassi and has been performed in ten languages worldwide.

Born in Zloczow, Poland in 1937, Roald Hoffmann is a survivor of the Nazi occupation of eastern Europe. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia College in 1958 and his Ph. D. from Harvard University in 1962. He has received numerous honors, including over twenty-five honorary degrees. He is the only person ever to have received the American Chemical Society's awards in three different specific subfields of chemistry - the A. C. Cope Award in Organic Chemistry, the Award in Inorganic Chemistry, and the Pimentel Award in Chemical Education.