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Genesis of the Salk InstituteThe Epic of Its Founders$
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Suzanne Bourgeois

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276079

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276079.001.0001

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Enter Leo Szilard

Enter Leo Szilard

(p.27) Chapter 3 Enter Leo Szilard
Genesis of the Salk Institute

Suzanne Bourgeois

University of California Press

In 1957 Leo Szilard presented Salk with a proposal to create a private institute for research on health. Szilard was a Hungarian physicist who had immigrated to the United States in 1938. Szilard’s background and the influences that formed his extraordinary character are reviewed. Raised in Budapest, in 1920 he moved to Berlin, where Einstein became his mentor. In Berlin, Szilard discovered the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes, private research institutions outside of a university. In 1933, as Hitler was coming to power, Szilard conceived of—and patented—the principle of the atomic bomb. By 1939, Szilard and Einstein warned Roosevelt about the dangers of atomic power and in 1940 Szilard started working on the bomb. After WWII, Szilard turned to biology.

Keywords:   Leo Szilard, Hungarian, physicist, Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, atomic bomb

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