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I re-tooled


In the confessional with Robert Oppenheimer
Jeremy Bernstein Scientist
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I had been warned before I went by people who had been at the Institute. They said, 'After a certain while, there's going to be a confessional, and you'll have to go into Oppenheimer and confess to what you've been doing and so forth during the year'. And then he said, 'If you haven't been doing anything, it's better to say that than to say something which is either trivial or wrong because he will just eat you alive'., So I had that in mind. And then a Fellow from Harvard had gone and went slightly berserk and left the Institute and became a monk. So that was not a terribly good precedent.

Born in 1929, Jeremy Bernstein is an American physicist, educator and writer known for the clarity of his writing for the lay reader on the major issues of modern physics. After graduating from Harvard University, Bernstein worked at Harvard and at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton. In 1962 he became an Associate Professor of Physics at New York University, and later a Professor of Physics at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, a position he continues to hold. He was also on the staff of The New Yorker magazine.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Harvard University, J Robert Oppenheimer

Duration: 53 seconds

Date story recorded: 15th June 2011

Date story went live: 08 September 2011