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Berkeley Lab FRIENDS OF SCIENCE
in Association with Berkeley High School Science Department and the World Year of Physics

Free Public Lecture:
Einstein the Peacenik

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

by Dr. Lawrence Badash, Professor Emeritus
History of Science, University of California Santa Barbara

Berkeley High School Florence Schwimley Little Theater
Allston Way between Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Milvia Street

Tuesday, October 25, 2005
7:15 – 8:30 p.m.


Before World War II, scientists rarely spoke out on public issues, and then nearly always limited themselves to matters having a technical component. Albert Einstein, almost alone, pioneered a new relationship between scientists and society. He consciously used his professional fame to promote his often-unpopular views. These included criticism (while living in Germany) of Germany's role in World War I, support of pacifism, defense of socialism, opposition to Hitler, condemnation of America's use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, censure of the Joseph McCarthy-era restraints on freedom of speech, and disapproval of racism. For his efforts, Einstein was threatened with assassination several times, was in danger of deportation from the United States, and accumulated a huge FBI file.

Einstein's courage in his public activities ran on a track parallel to the boldness of his scientific work. Come to hear Dr. Lawrence Badash’s assessment of Einstein in the context of the history of the physical sciences of the past century; on the role of scientists in the nuclear arms race; and on the interaction of science and society. For more information, see: http://online.itp.ucsb.edu/online/plecture/badash/.

Last updated: 03/17/2010