A Community of Scholars: Impressions of the Institute for by Serge J-F. Levy, Michael Francis Atiyah et al.

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By Serge J-F. Levy, Michael Francis Atiyah et al.

Participants: Serge J-F. Levy, Michael Francis Atiyah, Chantal David, Freeman Dyson, Jane Fulcher, Peter Goddard, Barbara Kowalzig, Wolf Lepenies, Paul Moravec, Joan Wallach Scott, David H. Weinberg

This fantastically illustrated anthology celebrates 80 years of background and highbrow inquiry on the Institute for complicated research, one of many world's top facilities for theoretical examine. that includes essays by way of present and previous college and participants in addition to pictures through Serge J-F. Levy, the e-book captures the spirit of interest, freedom, and comradeship that may be a hallmark of this specified group of scholars.

based in 1930 in Princeton, New Jersey, the institute encourages and helps basic learn within the sciences and humanities--the unique, frequently speculative pondering which can rework how we comprehend our international. Albert Einstein used to be one of the first in a protracted line of very good thinkers to be affiliated with the institute. They comprise Kurt Gödel, George Kennan, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Erwin Panofsky, Homer A. Thompson, John von Neumann, and Hermann Weyl. This quantity deals an intimate portrait in phrases and photographs of a storied establishment that may most sensible be defined as a real educational village. the non-public reflections accrued here--written through prime figures from around the disciplines--bring this remarkable educational establishment and its historical past vibrantly to life.

The individuals to this anthology are Michael Atiyah, Chantal David, Freeman Dyson, Jane F. Fulcher, Peter Goddard, Barbara Kowalzig, Wolf Lepenies, Paul Moravec, Joan Wallach Scott, and David H. Weinberg.

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I had this privilege, and it was a very impor- lyrical, one might say the “soul”—of the Institute. The decor tant year in my career. There were inspiring lectures where has not changed much in eighty years: the lounge with the the excitement of the audience was palpable, and happy big leather sofas, where tea is served punctually every after- hours spent discussing mathematics on the beautiful lawn noon, the library in Fuld Hall with its high ceilings, dark at the back of the tea room, enjoying coffee and the famous wood paneling, and the bust of Einstein, where one can Institute cookies, or in the cafeteria at the “math table” actually feel the presence of the ghosts of former Institute during lunch.

To watch the interplay between these two, so differ- something exciting and convincing. ent in their intellectual temperaments, so well matched in The highlight of the School of Social Science was—and their cognitive brilliance, and so close in their friendship, still is, I believe—the Thursday Luncheon Seminar. For a was an unforgettable experience. Later, they were joined by German academic, it was a most unusual, almost exotic Michael Walzer, Joan Scott, and Eric Maskin. I came back experience—and a challenging one for each speaker.

Professor Bowersock made substantial the Germans but the different factions within Vichy—as efforts to compare the Greek original with Cocteau’s ver- well as the intellectual Resistance—manipulated both the sion. Professor von Staden discussed his insights with me image and performances of Berlioz in order to serve their at considerable length. Other members also were generous own ideological ends. , whose own talks inspired me as well as my research that I had completed there at national meetings of colleagues and opened up other valuable areas of interest.

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