Nobelist Roald Hoffmann: Chemist, Poet, Above All A Teacher

[Editor’s note: Next spring, Cornell University professor Roald Hoffmann will be honored by his peers with the American Chemical Society’s Priestley Medal, the society’s highest award. For Hoffmann, 52, it won’t be his first trip to a dais. He is a Nobel laureate, having won the 1981 prize for chem- istry. And, as the recipient of both the A.C. Cope Award in Organic Chemistry and the ACS’s award for inor- ganic chemistry, he is the only person in the history of the

Julia King
Dec 10, 1989

[Editor’s note: Next spring, Cornell University professor Roald Hoffmann will be honored by his peers with the American Chemical Society’s Priestley Medal, the society’s highest award. For Hoffmann, 52, it won’t be his first trip to a dais. He is a Nobel laureate, having won the 1981 prize for chem- istry. And, as the recipient of both the A.C. Cope Award in Organic Chemistry and the ACS’s award for inor- ganic chemistry, he is the only person in the history of the society to be honored for his work in different subdisciplines of his science. While Hoffmann is famous for his achievements as a theoretical chemist, he is also an accomplished artist and a published poet. Above all though, he considers himself a teacher. In his 25 years at Cornell, he has taught chemistry to both science and nonscience students and consistently taught introductory chemistry courses to first-year stu- dents....