ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Dr. Roald Hoffmann of Cornell University will deliver the inaugural Kotz Lecture at SUNY Oneonta on September 27. His presentation, entitled “Indigo, a Tale of Craft, Religion, History, Science, and Culture,” will focus on the history and importance of indigo pigment in world affairs, and how it has served remarkably to intertwine fashion, power, and chemistry.
The Kotz Lecture will begin at 5 p.m. at the Craven Lounge in the Morris Conference Center on the college’s campus. The event is free and open to the public.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to host Roald Hoffmann
for our first Kotz Lecture,” said Assistant Professor Kelly Gallagher of the SUNY Oneonta Chemistry & Biochemistry Department. “His gift for connecting science, philosophy and storytelling make him such an engaging speaker. We’re fortunate to be able to bring him to SUNY Oneonta.”
Hoffmann’s address 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.
Hoffmann likes to characterize his particular blend of science as "applied theoretical chemistry." As a writer, he has carved out a niche within science, poetry, and philosophy through many essays and three books: "Chemistry Imagined" with artist Vivian Torrence, "The Same and Not the Same and Old Wine" and "New Flasks: Reflections on Science and Jewish Tradition," with Shira Leibowitz Schmidt. Hoffmann also has published four collections of poetry and co-written a play entitled "Oxygen" with fellow chemist/playwright Dr. Carl Djerassi, which has been performed worldwide and translated into 10 languages.
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. Hoffmann won the 1981 Nobel Prize in chemistry, an honor he shared with Dr. Kenichi Fukui of Japan’s Kyoto University.