Escape from the Holocaust
Hoffmann was born in Złoczów, Poland (now Ukraine) to a Jewish family and was named in honor of the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen. He and his mother were among the only members of his immediate family to survive the Holocaust, an experience which strongly influenced his beliefs and work. (A grandmother and several aunts, uncles, and cousins also survived.) They immigrated to the United States in 1949.
Hoffmann graduated in 1955 from New York City's Stuyvesant High School, where he won a Westinghouse science scholarship. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia University (Columbia College) in 1958. He earned his Master of Arts degree in 1960 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree, both from Harvard University, while working under the subsequent 1976 chemistry Nobel Prize winner William N. Lipscomb, Jr..
Hoffmann is also a writer of poetry published in two collections, "The Metamict State" (1987, ISBN 0-8130-0869-7) and "Gaps and Verges" (1990, ISBN 0-8130-0943-X), and of books explaining chemistry to the general public. Also, he co-authored with Carl Djerassi a play called "Oxygen" about the discovery of oxygen, but also about what it means to be a scientist and the importance of process of discovery in science.
Since the spring of 2001, Hoffmann has been the host of a monthly series at New York City's Cornelia Street Cafe called "Entertaining Science," which explores the juncture between the arts and science.
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- Priestley Medal
- Arthur C. Cope Award in Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry Award (American Chemical Society)
- Pimentel Award in Chemical Education
- Award in Pure Chemistry
- Monsanto Award
- National Medal of Science
- National Academy of Sciences
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow
- American Philosophical Society Fellow
- Kolos Medal
- Foreign Member, Royal Society
- Harvard Centennial Medalist
Hoffmann is member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
In August 2007, the American Chemical Society held a symposium at its biannual national meeting to honor Hoffmann's 70th birthday.
- ↑ Hoffmann's birth name was Roald Safran. Hoffmann is the surname adopted by his stepfather in the years after World War II
- ↑ The Tense Middle by Roald Hoffmann, story on NPR. Retrieved 29 September 2006.
- ↑ http://www.chem.cornell.edu/faculty/index.asp?fac=32
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