Auction No. 100

Rare and special items

June 20, 2017
Opening $ 2,000
Estimate $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
Sold for $ 26,840
Including buyer's premium

Letter from Prof. Albert Einstein sent to Prof. David Bohm regarding frustration felt by isolated intellectuals, investment in research and development and employment opportunities for scientists in Israel. 1954.

Specifications: [1] page. 28x20 cm. Typewritten letter, signed by Prof. Einstein with corrections in his handwriting.

Content: Einstein discusses Prof. David Bohm's frustrations, specifically in regards to his stomach issues and the lack of an intellectual environment in Sao Paulo. Einstein empathizes with Bohm's feelings and understands why Prof. Bohm is interested in moving:

"The first difficulty could be overcome by a reliable cook, but not the second one. Therefore I can understand now why you so eagerly wish to escape from there."

He suggests that Bohm wait to receive Brazilian citizenship, because he does not foresee a quick change in the political approach to Bohm on the part of his native country. Einstein suggests that a rule that applies to the stock market is also applicable to university life [don't show that you're desperate for a position, so that your value doesn't fall in the eyes of the employer]: "What is offered for sale is falling in price."

He also suggests that he publish articles in the countries to which he is interested in moving. In regards to Israel, Einstein notes that Israel is an interesting, intellectual creature, but has limited opportunities. It would be a shame to move there with intention of leaving at the first possible opportunity. He also agrees with his fears regarding Ireland. Therefore, despite Einstein's empathy with Bohm's frustrations, he suggests that the best thing to do right now is to wait patiently and enjoy life in Brazil as much as he can.

Einstein is surprised that the Brazilian government is not making serious efforts to encourage higher studies which is an absolute necessity for the technological development of the country; in contrast to the Japanese approach of the 19th century.

Background: Prof. David Joseph Bohm (1917-1992) moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil after being suspended from Princeton University and was appointed Head of Physics in Sao Paulo. As this letter indicates, Sao Paulo lacked the intellectual environment appropriate for his studies and he wished to leave the country. Despite Einstein's suggestions, Bohm moved to be a visiting Professor at the Technion in Israel, and two years later moved to England where he worked in the universities of Bristol and London.

Condition: Fine. Fold marks and light ink stain.

Category
letters by Professor Albert Einstein and Colleagues