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The Same and Not the Same

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Positioned at the crossroads of the physical and biological sciences, chemistry deals with neither the infinitely small, nor the infinitely large, nor directly with life. So it is sometimes thought of as dull, the way things in the middle often are. But this middle ground is precisely where human beings exist. As Hoffmann shows in his inspired prose, the world observed at ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published February 6th 1997 by Columbia University Press (first published 1995)
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 ·  91 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Emerson Lima
Uma boa descrição de toda a beleza da química. Vale MUITO a pena.
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer-reading
Just some passages/quotes:

"Scientists have bought the reductionist mode of thinking as their guiding ideology. Yet this philosophy bears so little relationship to the reality within which scientists themselves operate. And it carries potential danger to the discourse of scientists with the rest of society.
I think the reality of understanding is the following: Every field of human knowledge or art develops its own complexity of questions... Much of what people call understanding is a discussion
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
When I go to libraries, I tend to surf the shelves and grab any book that looks interesting. I usually don't end up reading anything I grab, but it's still fun. Anyways, I grabbed this book in one such moment and surprised myself by actually reading it. And I really enjoyed it - it was a fascinating look into chemistry, which is a lot more interesting than I remember from high school. Besides talking about how chemists approach things and some general ground rules for the molecular world Hoffman ...more
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
The ideas are beautiful and novel, and it was enjoyable to see chemistry talked about in a manner that many of the others sciences are but it is not, often: as a poetry and a conceptual pursuit, as well as a way to look at and a methodology with which to compute the world, but the execution is not as splendiferous. I would have enjoyed it even more if the author's handle of language were as good as his handle of lots of other things.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: college
Though some of the heavy chemistry chapters went a bit over my head, I surprisingly enjoyed this book. It has a textbook quality to it, but also a novel quality to it. There was one particularly beautiful quote, "It is not 'us' (whoever 'us' is) versus 'them', those irrational, Luddite critics of our lifestyle. There is so much of 'them' in 'us' - allow for that life-enhancing and beautiful complexity of human beings..."
And look at that, we've related aspects of chemistry to all of life.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by my organic chemistry professor. Hoffmann writes about science in a very accessible and lucid way. The book focuses mostly on chemistry, which is no surprise, the author is a Nobel laureate in chemistry.
Oct 13, 2008 rated it liked it
odd yet good book-- can't remember how came across it, but likely from Carbon Age references.
it's a collection of Hoffman's lectures (sort of)-- about chemistry, the nature of chemistry & it's place in the world. Odd mix of ideas & points-- appropriate from both a Nobel chemist & poet.
Vince Hradil
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book - if I were to write a popular book about chemistry, I would want it to be half as good. Roald Hoffman has a unique perspective on chemistry, life, and everything. Highly recommended for any scientist (or non-scientist, for that matter).
Jun 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
An enlightening reflection on the art and science of chemistry. Equally recommendable to scientists and non-scientists.
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