Budapest Scientific: A Guidebook

ISBN : 9780198719076

Istvan Hargittai; Magdolna Hargittai
336 ページ
152 x 223 mm

This guidebook introduces the reader to the visible memorabilia of science and scientists in Budapest - statues, busts, plaques, buildings, and other artefacts. According to the Hungarian-American Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, this metropolis at the crossroads of Europe has a special atmosphere of respect for science. It has been the venue of numerous scientific achievements and the cradle, literally, of many individuals who in Hungary, and even more beyond its borders, became world-renowned contributors to science and culture. Six of the eight chapters of the book cover the Hungarian Nobel laureates, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the university, the medical school, agricultural sciences, and technology and engineering. One chapter is about selected secondary schools from which seven Nobel laureates (Szent-Gyorgyi, de Hevesy, Wigner, Gabor, Harsanyi, Olah, and Kertesz) and the five "Martians of Science" (von Karman, Szilard, Wigner, von Neumann, and Teller) had graduated. The concluding chapter is devoted to scientist martyrs of the Holocaust. A special feature in surveying Hungarian science is the contributions of scientists that left their homeland before their careers blossomed and made their seminal discoveries elsewhere, especially in Great Britain and the United States. The book covers the memorabilia referring to both emigre scientists and those that remained in Hungary. The discussion is informative and entertaining. The coverage is based on the visible memorabilia, which are not necessarily proportional with achievements. Therefore, there is a caveat that one could not compile a history of science relying solely on the presence of the memorabilia.


1. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi: Romanticism and Reality
2. Istvan Szechenyi: Learned Society
3. Lorand Eotvos: Universitas
4. Ignac Semmelweis: Medicine
5. Pal Kitaibel: Agricultural Science
6. Theodore von Karman: Engineering and Innovation
7. Laszlo Ratz: Schools of Creativity
8. Gedeon Richter: Martyrs and Saviors


Istvan Hargittai, PhD, DSc, is Professor Emeritus (active) of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europaea (London) and a foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. He has honorary doctorates from Moscow State University, the University of North Carolina, and the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Structural Chemistry. His books have appeared in eight languages, and include, among others, 'Great Minds'; 'Buried Glory'; 'Drive and Curiosity'; 'Judging Edward Teller'; 'The Road to Stockholm'; and the 'Candid Science' book series.; Magdolna Hargittai, PhD, DSc, is Research Professor at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. She is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europaea (London). She has an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina. Her books include, among others, 'Symmetry through the Eyes of a Chemist'; 'In Our Own Image'; 'Visual Symmetry'; 'Great Minds'; and the 'Candid Science' book series. Her next book will be 'Women Scientists without Borders'. The Hargittais live in Budapest and their two children are professors at US universities.