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Mountain climbing


Tina Brown
Jeremy Bernstein Scientist
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After I wrote the profile of Lee and Yang, Shawn asked me if I’d like to be on the staff of the magazine, and I said, you know, 'What does that mean?' He said, 'Well, it just means we can pay you more'. I said, 'Well, that’s fine'. It also meant that I got the medical insurance, which has turned out to be extraordinarily important in my life to have done that. And I was on the staff for 35 years until Tina Brown fired a bunch of us, including me. But we managed to hang on to the medical thing, which has been very, very important in my life. And she succeeded in getting fired herself, which I was very pleased about. I never met her, I don’t think she ever read a word of anything I ever wrote. I have no idea why I was picked out. I wasn’t the only one picked out, but she kind of fired a whole group of people who had… she fired Yvette Mader and Henry Cooper and a lot of people that were quite important writers in The New Yorker during that period. And why she did it, I have no idea. I’m sure she has no regrets and I wish her nothing but ill.

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: "The New Yorker", Chen Ning Yang, Tsung-Dao Lee, William Shawn, Tina Brown, Henry SF Cooper

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: 15th June 2011

Date story went live: 07 October 2011