Dr. Roald Hoffmann of Cornell University delivered the inaugural Kotz Lecture at SUNY Oneonta in September 2011. His presentation, titled “Indigo, a Tale of Craft, Religion, History, Science, and Culture,” focused on the history and importance of indigo pigment in world affairs and how it has served remarkably to intertwine fashion, power and chemistry.
Born in Zloczow, Poland in 1937, Hoffmann immigrated to the U.S. in 1949. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1962 and has been a member of the Cornell University faculty since 1965. In 1981, Hoffmann won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, an honor he shared with Dr. Kenichi Fukui of Japan’s Kyoto University.
The Kotz lecture is made possible by the John Kotz Fund for Innovations in Science Education. Endowed in 2005, the Kotz Fund was named in honor of SUNY Oneonta Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus John “Jack” Kotz, co-author of one of the most popular general chemistry textbooks in the nation. Dr. Kotz’s children, David and Peter Kotz, established the fund to support lectures and seminars on basic or applied science and science education.
Biodiversity conservation expert Eleanor Sterling delivered SUNY Oneonta’s 14th annual Cornell-Gladstone-Hanlon-Kaufmann Lecture on Environmental Education and Communication in November 2013. Sterling is director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History. She has 25 years of field research experience in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where she has conducted behavioral, ecological and genetic studies of both terrestrial and aquatic species. She is considered a world authority on the aye-aye, a nocturnal lemur found in Madagascar. Her recent work has focused on the biodiversity and history of land use in Vietnam, research that led to the publication of “Vietnam: A Natural History” in 2006. She is also the chair of the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium and is helping to document biodiversity on this remote atoll in the central Pacific Ocean 700 miles from Hawaii.