Herbert Hauptman – The Joy of Science

March 31, 2006

Herbert Hauptman is winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering a mathematical model for determining the molecular structures of crystallized materials. This work has proved to be of the greatest importance because it relates molecular structure to biological activity, and allows for a better understanding of life processes, making possible the development of many new disease-fighting drugs. Dr. Hauptman is president of the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, research professor in the Department of Biophysical Sciences, and adjunct professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University at Buffalo. Besides the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Dr. Hauptman has received many other honors, including election to the National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of more than 170 publications.

In this discussion with DJ Grothe, Dr. Hauptman explores what he terms the “joy of science,” relates the events that led to his winning the Nobel Prize, and elaborates on why he says science is beautiful.

Also in this episode, Point of Inquiry contributor Ben Radford shares some thoughts on science and the media.