May 16, 2013
Albert Einstein was, first and foremost, the architect and engineer of a new understanding of the physical world. At the same time, in numerous articles, public addresses, and extensive correspondence, he expressed his views with courage and conviction on all the important moral, cultural, spiritual, and sociopolitical issues on the agenda of humankind in the first half the twentieth century. His ideas, opinions, and actions on diverse topics combine into a coherent worldview, which he himself attempted to demonstrate in several collections of his writings.
The 13th Einstein Lecture on May 16, 2013, will describe the basic elements of Einstein's worldview, focusing on his quest to reach out beyond his personal world and on his attempts to cope with the apparent contradictions between the universal and the particular, the objective, and the subjective. Although the emphasis will be on Einstein's nonscientific activities, it will not be detached from his epistemological thinking in search for basic principles of nature and in construction of physical theories.
Hanoch Gutfreund is Professor Emeritus in Theoretical Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ). His research has focused on condensed matter physics, statistical mechanics, and computational neuroscience. At HUJ he served on a number of academic positions: Chairman of the Institute of Physics, Chairman of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Rector, and President. He is a founder of the Hebrew University Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation. He is head of the academic committee of the Albert Einstein Archives at the HUJ and coordinates, on behalf of the University, cultural, educational, and academic activities related to Einstein with partners around the world. Outside of the HUJ, Professor Gutfreund has served on a number of national committees on education, on higher education, and on issues of science policy. He has been active in promoting science education and science understanding in Israeli society. At present he is Chairman of the national Young Scientists Contest in Israel, of the Scientific Committee of the Jerusalem Science Museum, and of the Executive Committee of the Israel Science Foundation.