TEL AVIV (May. 20)
A brilliant galaxy of world famous physicists and nuclear scientists attended the opening today of the new Nuclear Research Institute at the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovoth. The guest of honor at the festivities was Prof. Niels Bohr, Nobel Prize winning physicist and one of the early propounders of the theory of the structure of the atom.
Among the speakers were Premier David Ben Gurion of Israel and J. Robert Oppen-heimer, director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. The American guests included: Dr. Harold Urey of the Chicago Institute for Nuclear Studies; Prof. Felix Bloch of Stanford University; Dr. Boris Pregel, president of the New York Academy of Sciences, and Dr. George Herzberg of the Canadian National Research Society of Ottawa.
In his address, Mr. Ben Gurion told the assembled scientists that he was not “one of those who despair of the future of the human race” on account of the destructive uses latent in atomic discoveries. He based his optimism on Biblical prophecies which forecast a “great future” for the human race.
The Premier asserted that the State of Israel aspires to mould the character of the nation on the basis of two principles: the fostering of science and the use of its achievements for conquering and fructifying the desert; and, the shaping of a new society built on the four nations of liberty and peace, in accordance with the visions of the prophets.
Dr. Oppenheimer declared that the “new knowledge lends to man new power; it is this which has made the rise of Israel possible where courage could hardly cope with the adversities of nature and the adversities added by man. ” He added that “we know that the nations of the world must unite, must lose the power to make wars as some have even now largely lost the incentive.”
The American scientist expressed the “confident hope that Israel will play a very special part in this situation. ” He spoke of Israel’s stirring example in welcoming people of ” varied cultures and customs and traditions to her land. Prof. Bohr responded to Ben Gurion’s and Dr. Oppenheimer’s speeches. Meyer Weisgal, executive vice president of the Weizmann Institute, who chaired the ceremony, handed the key of the new nuclear institute to Isidore Lipschitz. New York Jewish philanthropist.