Chemistry Laureate Speaks on Science and Judaism – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Chemistry Laureate Speaks on Science and Judaism

The juxtaposition of chemistry and Jewish tradition is the topic of a talk titled “Old Wine, New Flasks,” which will be given by 1981 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Roald Hoffmann at Hobart and William Smith.

September 26, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.—Roald Hoffmann, 1981 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, will lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, in the Geneva Room in the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. He will present an interdisciplinary science and religion lecture, titled “Old Wine, New Flasks: Reflections on Science and Jewish Tradition”. His recent book, also titled “Old Wine, New Flasks; Reflections on Science and Jewish Tradition,” written with Shira Leibowitz Schmidt, is a book of the intertwined voices of science and religion, and discusses the juxtaposition of chemistry and Judaism.

This is his second visit to the Colleges; he lectured in April as the guest of the local chapter of the Sigma Xi scientific research honor society.

Hoffmann is known as 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 is also the author of “Chemistry Imagined,” a unique combination of art, science, and literature, written in collaboration with artist Vivian Torrence, and “The Same and Not the Same,” an account of dualities under the surface of chemistry. He also writes essays and poems. Two of his poetry collections, “The Metamict State” and “Gaps and Verges,” have been published by the University of Central Florida Press.

Hoffmann was born in 1937 in Zloczow, Poland. 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 the presenter of a television course, “The World of Chemistry,” aired on many PBS stations and abroad.

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