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The effect of German inflation on Bethe's view of money


How my tantrum saved my article
Jeremy Bernstein Scientist
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All the years I worked for The New Yorker, I never complained about anything. I felt that… I accepted the fact that the new writers, which I was when I was a new writer, were treated like Inca princes. They had about a year in which they were given every comfort, every encouragement, everything. Then after the year was up, they were marched to the top of the pyramid and their hearts were cut out with an obsidian knife. And I knew this, and I'd seen it with other New Yorker writers. I knew it was going to happen to me, and it did because after a year or two, you became an older writer and the new writers came in and they got the space, the attention and whatever. And I never complained about this. I didn't. I never went in and said, you know, 'Why aren't you publishing my things?' But this was too much and I had a tantrum. Shawn was not there, but I scared the wits out of his secretary and she went and said, when he came, you know, 'Mr Bernstein has gone berserk', or whatever she said. And Shawn put it back in the magazine. I saved the publication of that piece. And it was a very, very good piece. It was a very significant piece and he had no right to do that, absolutely no right to do that. Well, he had a right because, you know, he… it's his magazine, he could do what he wanted, but it was really an immoral act to have done that in that way, and I salvaged the piece.

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, Hans Bethe, Claude Shannon

Duration: 1 minute, 46 seconds

Date story recorded: 15th June 2011

Date story went live: 28 October 2011