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An Atom Institute Urged for Europe

Cultural Conference Also Bids Nations Remove Barriers to Free Flow of Books


LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Dec.— the founding of an all-European Institute at Nuclear Physics and the removal of restrictions on the flow of books and magazines among European countries were among the major recommendations adopted today by the European Cultural Conference.

The meeting of 150 leaders of European thought associated with the European Movement closed its four-day session by passing three sets of resolutions designed to point the way for replacing competing national outlooks with a single European outlook in all cultural fields.

That national sensibilities will be almost as difficult to overcome in the cultural as in the economic field was demonstrated in today's debate on whether French and English should have preference in teaching European students an international language to facilitate the interchange of ideas among nations.

Delegates who felt this proposal represented cultural aggrandizement were somewhat appeased by insertion of the words “for entirely practical reasons” before the recommendation. Advocates of German as one of the preferred languages were stilled by the intervention of Carlo Schmid, vice president of the West German Parliament, who urged the delegates to recognize the fact that French and English were international languages while other European languages were not “at the present time.” Some delegates then tried without success to exclude English.

The conference deplored the absence of cultural exchange between Eastern and Western Europe and urged that every effort be made to resume cooperation under conditions of “liberty of movement and freedom of expression.” Eastern European exiles urged the conference to go much farther in extending a promise of support to exiled students and professors from Communist countries.

Considerable evidence of barriers to free cultural exchange in post-war Europe was presented. “There are,” the final resolution said, “more restrictions, more obstacles than existed ten years ago.”

The conference called for a great expansion of the system of exchange students and exchange professors in European schools. It also recommended that the College of Europe, recently established on a trial basis at Bruges, Belgium, be started on a full-time basis in the autumn of 1950.

Film production and nuclear research are two fields in which a joint European effort is most needed, the conference was told. No single country is large enough or can mobilize enough resources to bring Europe up to American standards in atomic research, said Raul Dautry of the French Atomic Energy Commission.

Praising the work of the conference, Duncan Sandys, chairman of the executive committee of the European Movement, told the delegates their recommendations would be energetically supported by the whole European Movement.

From: The New York Times, Tuesday, 13 Dec 1949, p. 13.

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Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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