Special event commemorating the life and work of physicist Leo Szilard (1898-1964): Dedication of the Szilard papers, at U.C. San Diego Library. Also includes KPBS video "Leo Szilard : The man behind the bomb : A postscript with Gertrud Weiss Szilard".
- Creation Date
- March 22, 1985
- Cite This Work
[Title, Date]. Leo Szilard Papers. MSS 32. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library.
(0:02:42) Speakers (G. Allen Greb: editor of Szilard papers. Assistant Director of the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC)). Jonas Salk: encouraged by Leo Szilard to start a research institute in La Jolla. Salk made Szilard a faculty/fellow of the Salk Institute. Barton J. Bernstein: historian at Stanford, expert on scientists and nuclear weapons policies. Egon Weiss: brother of Gertrud Weiss Szilard
(0:12:00) Barton J. Bernstein presentation on Leo Szilard: He foresaw in 1933 the possiblities of nuclear weapons and took out patents on his ideas to keep them secret from German scientists and others; lobbied with U.S. government to pursue atomic weapons research; was a pioneering scientist on the Manhattan Project; an outspoken opponent of the military and others regarding nuclear arms policy; believed science and scientists could guide us to a less violent world; organized scientists to oppose military control of atomic weapons, with some success; believed scientists should make political policy regarding scientific achievements; called for a lobby of scientists for arms control; at the end of World War II called for direct contact with the Soviet Union to curb the arms race; inspired movement to organize Pugwash Conferences (arms control/solving global security threats)
(1:02:25) Post presentation conversations: personal anecdotes about Leo Szilard and his writings.
(1:08:27) KPBS presentation: Leo Szilard: the man behind the bomb: a postscript with Gertrud Weiss Szilard. Helen S. Hawkins, interviewer; Gertrud Weiss Szilard, interviewee. Japanese public television made a documentary of Szilard presumably because of his efforts to block using the bomb on Japanese cities. Gertrud Szilard edited and expanded (with additional papers) Leo Szilard's Reminiscences; titled "Leo Szilard: His Version of the Facts" (also known as his Collected Works, v. 2). Szilard was concerned that Germans overrunning Belgium would get Belgian Congo uranium. He organized correspondence with Einstein that turned into a letter from Einstein to FDR concerning guarding against uranium acquisitions by Germany. That led to the Uranium Committee in October 1939. In 1940 that committee helped establish the Manhattan Project.
Attendees Lynda Claassen: UC San Diego Special Collections Librarian. Facilitated addition of Szilard papers to the collection. Lanouette, William: author of "Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb." Hawkins, Helen S.: editor of Szilard papers, interviewer (KPBS segment). Szilard, Gertrud Weiss: Leo Szilard's wife, editor of Szilard papers, interviewee (KPBS segment)
Japanese public television footage with intertitles in Japanese: (0:00:55) Signatures of 70 Manhattan Project scientists on a petition against the use of the bomb on Japanese cities. (0:01:20) July 16, 1945 at Alamogordo, New Mexico; first atomic bomb test detonation.
- Personal Name
Located in the FILM AND VIDEO series.
- Related Resource
Online finding aid
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- Location Of Originals
This digital video is a surrogate of an item from the Leo Szilard Papers (MSS 32, Box 104, Folder 3).
- Digital Object Made Available By
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0175 (https://lib.ucsd.edu/sca)
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- Rights Holders
- KPBS (Television station : San Diego, Calif.)
- UC Regents