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Ending pacifism by joining the army


Father's move to London
Freeman Dyson Scientist
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[Q] Your father has moved from Winchester to London?

Yes. He became Director of the Royal College of Music in London, very soon after I came to Winchester as a schoolboy. So it was, I think, in '38 he moved. So he was Director all through the war, and we had our home in London most of the time and remained there and saw to the rebuilding after the war. So his reign as Director was roughly from '38 to '58, about 20 years. And so during those years I was a guest at the college very often and enjoyed the musical life of London. So it was a great time for him and for me in a way.

Freeman Dyson (1923-2020), who was born in England, moved to Cornell University after graduating from Cambridge University with a BA in Mathematics. He subsequently became a professor and worked on nuclear reactors, solid state physics, ferromagnetism, astrophysics and biology. He published several books and, among other honours, was awarded the Heineman Prize and the Royal Society's Hughes Medal.

Listeners: Sam Schweber

Silvan Sam Schweber is the Koret Professor of the History of Ideas and Professor of Physics at Brandeis University, and a Faculty Associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is the author of a history of the development of quantum electro mechanics, "QED and the men who made it", and has recently completed a biography of Hans Bethe and the history of nuclear weapons development, "In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist" (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Tags: Winchester, London, Royal College of Music, Winchester College, 1938, 1958

Duration: 46 seconds

Date story recorded: June 1998

Date story went live: 24 January 2008