Archives of Women in Science and Engineering
Special Collections Department - Archives of Women in Science and Engineering - Oral History Project
MS 379: Oral History Collection
Darleane C. Hoffman Biography
Darleane Christian Hoffman received her B.S. (1948) in Chemistry and her Ph.D (1951) in Physical (Nuclear) Chemistry from Iowa State University. She was employed as a chemist (1952-1953) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was a staff member of the Radiochemistry Group (1953-1971); Associate Group Leade r of the Radiochemistry Group (1971-1979); Division Leader of the Chemistry-Nuclear Chemistry Division (1979-1982); and Division Leader of the Isotope and Nuclear Chemistry Division (1982-1984), all at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. From 1984 till 1991 she was a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley and professor emeritus from 1991 until 1993. Her current positions are the Faculty Senior Scientist and Group Leader (1984- ) at the Lawrence Berkeley L aboratory, Director (1991- ) of the Glenn T. Seaborg Institute for Transactinium Science, and Professor (1993- ) in the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School.
Her research interests include rapid chemical separation of short-lived fiss ion products; nuclear structure; chemical and nuclear properties of the heaviest elements; studies of the spontaneous fission process; heavy ion reactions; and the search for heavy elements in nature. Among Hoffman's accomplishments are her discovery of plutonium-244 in nature and conducting the first aqueous chemistry on element 105.
She is a member of numerous professional organizations and advisory committees, including the American Chemical Society (Fellow), the American Institute of Chemists, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and other honorary societies. Among the awards she has received are the John Dustin Clark Award (1976), the American Chemical Society Award for Nuclear Chemistry (1983), and the Garvan Medal (1990) for contributions to the physics and chemistry of the heaviest elements.