Frank Aydelotte

The Institute for Advanced Study came into being at the most inauspicious of times. Founded in the early years of the Great Depression, it took shape during the buildup to the Second World War and under the growing shadow of authoritarian regimes. Its first Director Abraham Flexner published his manifesto on the “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge” in October 1939, barely a month after the outbreak of hostilities in Europe. Surely this was a daunting moment to defend “the fearless and irresponsible thinker” and advocate for the free expression of knowledge and curiosity. 

Kurt Gödel’s achievement in modern logic is singular and monumental—indeed it is more than a monument, it is a landmark which will remain visible far in space and time.
—John von Neumann

Upon presenting Kurt Gödel (1906-1978...

In November 1946, Frank Aydelotte (Director, 1939–47) invited the poet T. S. Eliot to come to the Institute for Advanced Study as a Member in the School of Historical Studies and the first unofficial artist in residence at the Institute. By the...