Newsletter 177 - Speeches by Albert Einstein - Science & Humanity
Ladies and Gentlemen who are present and who are not!
When you hear the radio think also about the fact how people have come to possess such a wonderful tool of communication. The origin of all technical achievements is the divine curiosity and the play instinct of the working and thinking researcher as well as the constructive fantasy of the technical inventor.
Think of Oersted who as the first person noticed the magnetic effect of electric currents, of Reis who as the first one made use of this effect to generate sound by using electromagnetism, of Bell who as the first person converted sound waves into variable electric currents with his microphone by using sensitive contacts. Think also of Maxwell who showed us the existence of electric waves by using a mathematical way, of Hertz who as the first person generated them with the help of a spark and thus proved them. Think especially of Liebens who invented an unprecedented measuring instrument for electric pulses, the electric valve tube. It was also an ideal and simple instrument to generate electric waves. Think gratefully of the big number of unknown engineers who simplified the instruments of communication via radio and adapted them to mass production in such a fashion that they have become ready to be used by everybody nowadays.
And everybody should be ashamed who uses the wonders of science and engineering without thinking and having mentally realized not more of it than a cow realizes of the botany of the plants which it eats with pleasure.
Think also about the fact that it is the engineers who make true democracy possible. They facilitate not only the daily work of the people but also make the works of the finest thinkers and artists accessible to the public. The pleasure of these works had recently still been a privilege of the preferred classes. Thus the engineers wake the peoples from their sleepy bluntness.
The radio has to fulfill a special and unique function for international reconciliation. Up to now peoples got to know each other almost only with the help of the distorting mirror of their own daily press. Radio shows them to each other in their most vivid form and mainly from their amicable side. Thus it will contribute to end the feeling of bilateral strangeness which so easily turns to mistrust and hostility.
With this attitude look at the results of the creation which this exhibition offers the astonished senses of the visitors.