Jewlicious has The Middle, and we appreciate all he is and does. It is nice to see that NPR has decided that they, too, need a middle. And a very Jewlicious Middle at that: Nobel prize winning Polish jewish Chemist.
Cornell University professor Roald Hoffmann won the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was born in southeastern Poland, an area that is now Ukraine. After surviving the Holocaust, he and his mother emigrated to America in 1949. His father, grandparents and siblings were killed by the Nazis and he was hid by a Ukrainian teacher.
In addition to research and teaching, Hoffmann enjoys writing poetry, plays and essays. He, like the Rambam before him, advocates for a position that takes into account all sides and finds a middle truth.
I believe in the middle. Extremes may make a good story, but the middle satisfies me. Why? Perhaps because I’m a chemist…. The middle is not static… my psychological middle as well as the chemical equilibrium. I like that. Yes, of course I also want stability. But I believe that extreme positions — the things you start out with in a chemical reaction, the things you finish with (all people A, bad, all people B, good; no taxes at all, taxed to death) — all of these are impractical, unnatural, boring: the refuge of people who never want to change. The world is not simple, though God knows political forces on every side want to make it so. I like the tense middle and I am grateful for a life that offers me the potential for change.