February 24, 2017
“Flexner and Dijkgraaf argue that basic research—driven by curiosity, freedom and imagination—is a proven and essential seed for the revolutionary technologies that fuel the economy, transform society, and provide solutions for the world’s problems. A thoughtful appeal for long-term thinking in a time full of short-term distractions.”—Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc.

IAS News

February 01, 2017
It is with deep conviction regarding the freedom of inquiry and intellectual exchange and the respect for the principles of justice and non-discrimination that we, the undersigned, condemn and oppose the recent federal executive order that suspends the entry of refugees, immigrants, and other visitors. 

“The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge”

Watch a trailer for a new book by Princeton University PressThe Usefulness of Useless Knowledge, which features Institute for Advanced Study founding Director Abraham Flexner’s classic essay of the same title, first published in Harper’s magazine in 1939, and a new companion essay by Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute. 

In the Media

February 22, 2017
Science reviews The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge, reflecting on IAS founding Director Abraham Flexner’s advocacy for “unfettered inquiry that, paradoxically and unexpectedly, has often resulted in extraordinary utility.”

Event

March 1, 2017 | 5:30 – 5:30pm
In a public lecture, Jeffrey Davidow, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Venezuela, and Zambia, will discuss how, even though America’s historic role of interventionism has long passed, the opportunities and challenges of Latin America present serious issues for U.S. involvement.

IAS News

February 09, 2017
On Tuesday, February 28, at 5:00 p.m., former Member Robert E. Lerner will recount the story of the late IAS Professor Ernst Kantorowicz, a medieval historian whose ideas exerted an influence far beyond his field, and whose colorful and dramatic life intersected with many of the great events and thinkers of his time.

In the Media

January 06, 2017
Ernst Kantorowicz: A Life offers "a timely meditation on the vicissitudes of abstract, purist ideals under the pressure of savage real-world events." —George Prochnik, New York Times