Paul Hoffman (science writer)
Paul Hoffman (born March 30, 1956) is the president and CEO of the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. He is also a prominent author, science educator, food entrepreneur, and host of the PBS television series Great Minds of Science. He was president and editor in chief of Discover, in a ten-year tenure with that magazine, and served as president and publisher of Encyclopædia Britannica before returning full-time to writing and consulting work. He lives in Brooklyn and Woodstock, New York. Author of at least ten books, he has appeared on CBS This Morning and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer as a correspondent. Hoffman is also a puzzlemaster using the pseudonym Dr. Crypton. He designed the puzzle in the 1984 book Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse. He also designed the treasure map in the 1984 film, Romancing the Stone, starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito. Paul is a chess player rated around 1900 (or class-A level) who was the last man standing when world champion Magnus Carlsen played blindfold blitz chess against three challengers. He is currently assisting LSC Visiting Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana in his quest to become the first American to win the world chess championship since Bobby Fischer in 1972.
Hoffman, who holds a B.A. degree summa cum laude from Harvard, is the winner of the first National Magazine Award for Feature Writing and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Chicago magazine once called him "the smartest man in the world," but Hoffman claims the editors must have caught him on a particularly good day. The New York Times called Hoffman "the mayor of strange places" because of his penchant for checking in at out-of-the-way places on Foursquare. Paul's most celebrated book, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, was featured in clue 104 Down in the Sunday Times crossword puzzle for 11/15/2015.
Before joining Liberty Science Center in October 2011, Hoffman was the editorial chairman of the video interview website Big Think, where he personally interviewed Dick Cavett, Richard Dawkins, Annie Duke, Arianna Huffington, John Irving, Penn Jillette, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Ed Koch, among others.
Hoffman is the creative director of the Beyond Rubik's Cube exhibition, which is appearing at venues around the world starting with LSC in Jersey City, NJ, the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, and Telus World of Science in Edmonton, Canada. Exhibition elements include a 35-foot-tall rooftop cube made of lights that people can manipulate with their cellphones, a $2.5 million cube made of diamonds, a giant cube displaying the inner workings of the puzzle, and cube-solving robots. Google is LSC's creative partner in the creation of the 7,000-square-foot exhibition.
- Hoffman, Paul (2007). King's Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game. New York: Hyperion Books. ISBN 1-4013-0097-9.
- Hoffman, Paul (2003). Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight. Hyperion Books. ISBN 0-7868-8571-8.
- Hoffman, Paul (1998). The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth. New York: Hyperion Books. ISBN 0-7868-8406-1.
- Hoffman, Paul (1988). Archimedes' Revenge: The Joys and Perils of Mathematics. New York: Fawcett Colombine. ISBN 0-449-00089-3.
- Crypton, Dr. (1985). Timid Virgins Make Dull Company and Other Puzzles, Pitfalls, and Paradoxes. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-008043-0.
- "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, PAUL HOFFMAN, AUTHOR, ASME-WINNING WRITER". Mediabistro. August 22, 2007. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Paul Hoffman Named President and CEO". Liberty Science Center Web site. Liberty Science Center. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
- Shaffrey, Ted (2012-04-27). "Cubism? Rubik helps with toy's anniversary exhibit". Associated Press. New York.
- Quenqua, Douglas (2012-08-06). "Rubik's Cube Twists Back Into Limelight". The New York Times. New York.