Chemistry Professor, Dr. Balazs Hargittai, has published five books during his time at Saint Francis University. His latest book, "Wisdom of the Martians of Science - In Their Own Words with Commentaries" is about five Jewish-Hungarian-American scientists—known as the “Martians” of Science. These five men were considered geniuses in the field of science. John von Neumann, the father of the modern computer; Theodore von Kármán, the scientist behind the US Air Force; Leo Szilard, the initiator of nuclear weapons; the Nobel laureate Eugene P. Wigner, the world’s first nuclear engineer; and the controversial Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb. Dr. Hargittai says of his book, “‘The Martians’ wisdom is less known than their discoveries, and our aim is to sample their relevant statements and put them into context. Our book provides a glimpse into their thinking, which we find instructive and entertaining. Instructive, because while it cannot be learned how to become a genius, there is a chance that wisdom can be acquired. Entertaining, because these men were witty and even if we cannot always agree with what they say, they were never boring.”
Several of the books that Dr. Hargittai has written or edited have been co-produced with his parents, Drs. István and Magdolna Hargittai, both at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The topics have focused on the history of science studies with an emphasis on great discoveries of the twentieth century. His books encompass much broader aspects than his own specialty in chemistry. “Initially it started as recording interviews with famous scientists. This project is to ensure that future generations could get an insight into the thoughts of some pioneering scientists of the 20th century,” explains Dr. Hargittai.
Looking ahead, Dr. Hargittai still has a lot of work ahead of him in managing the enormous amount of material that has already been collected. The collection extends to chemistry, physics, the biomedical sciences, and materials science as well.
The following is a list of Dr. Hargittai’s books as of 2018:
"Wisdom of the Martians of Science – In Their Own Words with Commentaries"
"Science of Crystal Structures: Highlights of Crystallography in Structural Chemistry"
"Culture of Chemistry: The Best Articles on the Human Side of 20th-Century Chemistry form the Archives of the Chemical Intelligencer"
"Great Minds: Reflections of 111 Top Scientists"
"Candid Science V – Conversations with famous scientists"