Anecdotally Autographed | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 91 Issue 12 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: March 25, 2013

Anecdotally Autographed

Department: Letters

I thoroughly enjoyed Bethany Halford’s “The Autograph Collector,” which describes the 40-plus-year collection of chemists’ signatures diligently gathered by Tetsuo Nozoe (C&EN, Jan. 21, page 28). A number of us enjoy this hobby, theme included. Roald Hoffmann’s comment in the article brought to mind a 2001 incident in San Diego that led to a unique pair of autographs.

The occasion was the 221st American Chemical Society national meeting, which coincided with the world premiere of “Oxygen,” a stage play written by Hoffmann and Carl Djerassi. During the meeting exposition, the play’s publisher arranged a meet-the-authors book signing event. I was first in line when Djerassi arrived. He was in a particularly playful mood and decided to sign my volume as “Carl Hoffmann.” When Hoffmann arrived a few minutes later, he signed the book as “Roald Djerassi”—a truly memorable keepsake of an unforgettable encounter.

Philip E. Rakita
Hendersonville, N.C.

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