Roald Hoffmann, 1981 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, will present an interdisciplinary science and religion lecture, titled “Old Wine, New Flasks: Reflections on Science and Jewish Tradition” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, in the Geneva Room. He has recently had a book published, also titled “Old Wines, New Flasks,” that discusses the juxtaposition of chemistry and Judaism. He lectured at the Colleges in April as the guest of the local chapter of the Sigma Xi scientific research honor society.
Hoffmann is a gifted chemist as well as a talented poet and writer. He has received many honors of his profession, including the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (shared with Kenichi Fukui). Hoffmann also writes essays and poems. Two of his poetry collections, “The Metamict State” and “Gaps and Verges,” have been published by the University Presses of Florida.
Hoffmann was born in 1937 in Zloczow, Poland. Having survived the war, he came to the U. S. in 1949, and studied chemistry at Columbia University and Harvard University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1962. Since 1965 he has taught at Cornell University, now as the Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters. Hoffmann is also is the presenter of a television course, “The World of Chemistry,” now aired on many PBS stations and abroad.