[Robert Oppenheimer on "See it Now"]

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Gilbert Seldes begins by saying, "I'm going to do a broadcast about a broadcast." Referring to a broadcast a few weeks earlier on See It Now, Edward Murrow's interview with Oppenheimer. He and others would like to have it repeated. Oppenheimer one of the most controversial figures. As he wrote something on a blackboard, he said when it comes to necessity, "all you can do is guess in the night and correct in the daytime." Oppenheimer discusses the social problems that arise with science. Dealing with a poet as well as a scientist. Talks about the Institute of Advanced Studies. Mentions notable members and visitors: Einstein, Piaget, T.S. Eliot. Life in the Institute. Take away distractions. Make it impossible for them to escape doing their work and dodge the dreadful responsibility of "fulfilling their destiny." Oppenheimer talked about communication. Opposed to secrecy when it comes to science. He was asked if we have advanced, that we can see the destruction of humanity? Replies "you can destroy enough humanity so that only a great act of faith can persuade you that what's left will be human."


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection


WNYC archives id: 70385
Municipal archives id: LT6748