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Oppenheimer opportunities

21 April 2004

One highlight of the Oppenheimer Centennial at Berkeley will be an early-evening talk on Thursday, April 22, by Daniel Kevles, Stanley Woodward Professor of History at Yale University. He will speak at 6 p.m. in the Morrison Room, Doe Library, on the topic “Scientists, Weapons, and the State: The 20th Century.” The talk is free and open to the public.

Two library exhibits are scheduled to open on April 22, Oppenheimer’s birthday. One, in the Bancroft Library’s Exhibition Gallery, will explore the first century of physics at Berkeley, beginning with the founding of the physics department in 1868 by the new university’s first faculty hire and future UC president, John LeConte. The second exhibit, in the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery of Doe Library, will document 20th-century physics in books, journals, and photographs drawn from the collections of the university libraries and the Department of Physics.

The centerpiece of the centennial program is this weekend’s conference, “Oppenheimer as Scientific Intellectual,” all sessions of which (to be held in the Faculty Club) are open to the public. Participants in several sessions on Friday, April 23 (beginning at 8:45 a.m.), and Saturday, April 24 (beginning at 8:30 a.m.), will examine Oppenheimer’s public and academic lives, focusing on his scientific research as well as his controversial political involvements.

For details on these exhibits and events, visit ohst.berkeley.edu/oppenheimer/. “Oppenheimer: A Life,” an online biographical exhibit, is at ohst.berkeley.edu/oppenheimer/exhibit/.