This webpage will look at the life and work of the Italian writer and chemist Primo Levi. Although he is famous primarily for his writing and as a witness to the atrocities that took place in the concentration camp at Auschwitz during the Second World War, you will find the chemist in Levi emphasized here.
Chemistry was Levi's passion and he worked as a professional chemist for most of his adult life. In 'The Periodic Table' (1975) Levi wrote about his life with chemistry as the underlying theme. It contains the most compelling reasons for studying chemistry that I know of and is discussed in detail in the section 'Primo Levi the Chemist'.
Here are some websites that you may find of interest:
http://www.inch.com/~ari/levi1.html - biography and interview
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/bsis/98/98pltrn.htm - Primo Levi and translation
http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/primo.htm - biography
http://www.themodernword.com/scriptorium/levi.html - Primo Levi Association
http://www2.canisius.edu/~gallaghr/jew.html - Primo Levi and Italian Jewry