Chemistry Imagined: Reflections on Science

Roald Hoffmann, Author, Vivian Torrence, With, Carl Sagan, Foreword by Smithsonian Books $19.95 (168p) ISBN 978-1-56098-214-2
A Nobel Laureate in chemistry, Hoffman assembles brief essays, word portraits of chemists and prose poems to celebrate the wonder he unceasingly finds in his field. Torrence's accompanying painted collages are less persuasive. As in his earlier collections, including Gaps and Verges , Hoffman's inspiration comes from the most fundamental of phenomena--``the science of molecules.'' But it is the teaching power of the written word, not the double carbon bond, that dominates here, as Hoffman's short pieces of prose leave the reader craving his fuller treatment of more complex topics. Difficult though it may be to get at the fine, hard truth of a crystal lattice from a poem, the impact of Hoffman's effort here suggests that the curiosity-squashing damage wrought by rote drills of the periodic table could be redeemed by the sense of awe and far-reaching appreciation embraced in these writings. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
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Paperback - 168 pages - 978-1-56098-539-6
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