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Welcome Messages

Roald Hoffmann

Young friends!

We are all good in chemistry - you, whose qualities have brought you to Moscow, your mentors, even I. As you face competition, and as chemistry, the science, faces the mixed attitudes toward it of the world at large, it is important that you also have fun. And that you, and chemistry, by relaxing a little, communicate to the world that scientists are human beings, and just enjoy the magic of substances and their transformations. Others will feel your passion.

Part of alchemy was a philosophy, part a pseudoscience. Whatever it was, by placing transformation at its core, alchemy captured the imagination of ordinary people and intellectuals in its time. Modern chemistry has a problem -- we are incredibly good at transformation, but people don't feel our magic. Relax, show people that chemistry (and chemists) gives you pleasure, that you can smile around it. In the process you will demonstrate that chemists are human and not machines. You will make friends for life, and help chemistry be part of the human condition.

Roald Hoffmann
The Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry

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