Chemist Istvan Hagittai has been thinking aloud in Leonardo for over thirty years !


Leonardo Honorary Editor Istvan Hargittai is a research chemist but also a world expert on the concept of symmetry in both the sciences and arts:
He has been publishing his thinking through book reviews in Leonardo Reviews over the past 30 years ! see below at the end of this post

For his writings about symmetry see: 


He has also published a number of fascinating books about Hungarian scientists and about nobel prizewinners


István is a Hungarian chemist and author. He is Professor of General and Analytical Chemistry at the TU Budapest .

István Hargittai

Hargittai received in 1965 graduated from the Moscow State University , was founded in 1972 at the Eotvos Lorand Universitydoctorate and his habilitation in 1976 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Ph.D. in Russian system). In 1965, he conducted research at the Center for Chemical structures of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and from 1973 at the Research Institute for Chemistry. 1976-1979 he headed the group electron diffraction and quantum chemistry and 1979 until 1986, the Department of Structural studies at the research laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry. He is a professor at the Institute of General and Analytical Chemistry at the Technical University Budapest (1991 to 1996 head of the Institute) and part-time head of the Research Group Structural Chemistry of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at the Lorand Eötvös University.

He deals with structural chemistry, stereochemistry of sulfur and silicon, coordination chemistry , metal halides , unstable molecules, chemicals at high temperatures, electron diffraction in gas phase, interaction of experimental techniques with theoretical chemistry, differences of structure in the solid phase and gas phase, intra- and intermolecular interaction, Models of molecular geometry and history and cultural history of chemistry.

He is also known as an author on the history of science, especially Hungarian mathematician and physicist of the 20th century, and symmetry in the natural sciences.

Here is a list of his reviews in Leonardo Reviews over the past 30 years !


they are available open access by searching on his name at:

  1. Hargittai:
    A.C. Edmondson: A Fuller explanation: The synergetic geometry of R. Buckminster Fuller. Design Science Collection. Birkhäuser: Boston, MA, 1987. 302 p. $37.50. – L.S. Sieden: Buckminster Fuller’s universe: An appreciation. Plenum Press: New York, NY, 1989. 511 p. $24.95 (book reviews)
    Leonardo 24 (1991) 94-95.
  2. Hargittai:
    E. Chargaff: Serious questions. An ABC of sceptical reflections. Birkhäuser: Basel, 1986. 261 p. $40.00 (book review)
    Leonardo 24 (1991) 362.


  1. Hargittai:

C.A. Pickover: Chaos in wonderland: visual adventures in a fractal world. St. Martin’s Griffin: New York, 1995 XV + 303 pp. Paperback $18.95. (book review).

LEONARDO 30, No. 1 (1997) 71.


  1. Hargittai:

Gombrich on art and psychology. R. Woodfield, ed. Manchester University Press: Manchester, U.K. and New York, 1996. xiii + 271 pp. $ 69.95 (cloth) (book review).

LEONARDO 30, No. 2 (1997) 160-161.


  1. Hargittai:
  2. Richmond: Aesthetic criteria: Gombrich and the philosophies of science of Popper and Polanyi. Rodopi B. V.: Amsterdam and Atlanta, Georgia, 1994. 152 pp. Hfl. 45.00/USD 30.00.

LEONARDO 30, No. 2 (1997) 161.


  1. Hargittai:

Brain asymmetry. R. J. Davidson, K. Hugdahl, eds. MIT Press: Cambridge, U.S.A., 1996. 735 pp. $35.00. (book review

LEONARDO 30, No. 2 (1997) 161-162.


  1. Hargittai:
  2. Arnheim: The split and the structure: Twenty-eight essays. University of California Press: Berkeley, 1996.  IX + 184 pp.  Paperback. (book review).

LEONARDO 30 (3) (1997) 236-237


  1. Hargittai:

Nanotechnology. B. C. Crandall, ed.  The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 1996.  214 pp.   $ 17.00 (pbk). (book review)

LEONARDO 30 (3) (1997) 237-238.


  1. Hargittai:
  2. Gregory: Mirrors in Mind. W. H. Freeman/Spektrum: Oxford, New York, Heidelberg, 1997. 302 pp. (book review)

LEONARDO 30 (4) (1997) 331.


  1. Hargittai:
  2. L. Solso: Cognition and the Visual Arts. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., and London, U.K., 1996. 294 pp.  $17.50. (book review)

LEONARDO 31 (1998) 75.


  1. Hargittai:
  2. R. Elder: An Encyclopedia of Archetypal Symbolism, Volume 2: The Body. Shambhala Publications: Boston, MA, U.S.A., 1996. 452 pp. (book review).

LEONARDO 31 (1998) 153-154.


  1. Hargittai:
  2. A. Pickover: The Loom of God: Mathematical Tapestries at the Edge of Time. Plenum Trade: New York and London, 1997. 292 pp. $29.95 (book review).

LEONARDO 31 (1998) 155.


  1. Hargittai:
  2. Vanechkina, I. Trofimova: Children Draw Music. FEN: Kazan, Russian Federation, 2000. (book review).

LEONARDO 34, No. 2 (2001) 164-165.


  1. Hargittai:

Gy. Darvas. Symmetry: Cultural-historical and ontological aspects of science–arts relations: the natural and man-made world in an interdisciplinary approach. (Translated from the Hungarian by David Robert Evans.) Birkhäuser: Basel, Boston, MA, and Berlin, 2007. xi + 508 pp. ISBN 10: 3-7643-7554-X; ISBN 13: 978-3-7643-7554-6. (book review)

LEONARDO 41 (2008) 185-187.






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