Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:

A Scientist's Odyssey: Conversation with Victor F.
Weisskopf, 1988 Sanford S. Elberg Lecturer; 4/7/88 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation on International Affairs. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our distinguished guest today is Professor Victor F. Weisskopf, Institute Professor of Physics at MIT. Professor Weisskopf is the 1988 Sanford S. Elberg Lecturer on the Berkeley campus. Professor Weisskopf is widely know for his theoretical work in quantum electrodynamics, the structure of the atomic nucleus, and elementary particle physics. He played a critical role in the formation of the European Center of Nuclear Research, CERN, in Geneva, where he served as director from 1961 to 1966. He is also known as an international statesman of science and as a leader in the promotion of peaceful uses of atomic energy, East - West scientific cooperation, and atomic weapons.

  1. Background ... graduate studies in physics ... Copenhagen as an international center of physics in the 1920s ... inter-war years ... visits to the Soviet Union in the 1930s ... Weisskopf's politics
  2. What Makes a Scientist? ... passion in science ... complementary thinking ... adequacy of science training
  3. Militarization of Science
  4. Scientists and the Peace Movement ... changing thinking about nuclear weapons ... mobilizing public concern ... responsibility of scientists ... Pugwash role ... roots of moral education

© Copyright 1996, Regents of the University of California

Site questions: Email iis_webmgr at