Roald Hoffmann


According to his own website (, Roald Hoffmann was born in 1937 in Złoczów, Poland. Having survived World War II, he came to the U.S. in 1949, and studied Chemistry at Columbia and Harvard Universities (Ph.D. 1962). He has been at Cornell University since 1965, now as the Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters, Emeritus. He has received many of the honours of his profession, including the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (shared with Kenichi Fukui).

At Cornell, Hoffmann taught Introductory Chemistry for about half of his time there. Also notable is his outreach to the general public; he was the presenter, for example, of a television course in Chemistry titled “The World of Chemistry,” broadcasted widely since 1990.

As a writer, Hoffmann carved out a path across science, poetry, and philosophy through his numerous essays, five non-fiction books, three plays and seven published poetry collections, including bilingual Spanish-English and Russian-English editions published in Madrid and Moscow.

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