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MARGINALIA

Why Think Up New Molecules?

Adding to the world of known chemical structures is a wonderful mental experiment

Roald Hoffmann


Homo Ludens

Science is a marvelous quest for reliable knowledge. Knowing is a pleasure in and of itself. So is creation. As is sharing that knowledge, and yes, being thought of well for what one does.

The predictor leaves the safety of known molecules and properties for the unknown. He or she takes a risk. And, in a way, flirts—in a game of interest and synthesis—with the experimentalist. Predicting new molecules is simply great fun.

©Roald Hoffman

Bibliography

  • Schaefer, III, H. F. 1996. Odorless chemistry: A gentle reductionist companion to experiment. Journal of the Chinese Chemical Society 43:109-115.
  • Hoffmann, R., and H. Hopf. 2008. Learning from molecules in distress. Angewandte Chemie, International Edition 47:4474-4481.
  • Hoffmann, R. 2003. Why buy that theory? American Scientist 91:9-11.








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