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New podcast: To be human is to try to understand

What can a theoretical chemist, who has spent more than 50 years at Cornell calculating the preferred shapes of molecules and their reactions, tell us about what it means to be human?

Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann tells how in “An Iodabenzene Story,” the new episode in the “What Makes Us Human?” podcast series.

“What Makes Us Human?” from the College of Arts and Sciences, showcases the newest thinking from across the disciplines about what it means to be human in the 21st century. Featuring three- to four-minute audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty members, the series releases a new episode each Tuesday through the fall.

“To be human is to try to understand,” says Hoffmann, the Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters Emeritus in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

“What Makes Us Human” podcasts are available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming at, where text versions of the essays are also posted.

- Linda B. Glaser

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson