Of Historical Note: A Community of Scholars

On April 10, 1955, the New York Times announced the publication of a bibliographic volume published under J. Robert Oppenheimer, then Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, on the occasion of the Institute’s twenty-fifth anniversary. The volume covered the work of one thousand former and present Members of the Institute and included four thousand publications ranging from Albert Einstein’s latest writings on unified field theory to T. S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party. The volume was brought up to date in 1980 on the occasion of the Institute’s fiftieth anniversary and published as A Community of Scholars: The Institute for Advanced Study 1930–1980. In his foreword, Harry Woolf, then Director of the Institute, quoted Oppenheimer: “History teaches––and even the brief history of the Institute confirms––that new knowledge leads to new power and new wisdom, and alters the destiny and heightens the dignity of man.”

In its eightieth year, under Director Peter Goddard, the Institute created an online presence for this community, with the posting of a comprehensive list of scholars formally associated with the Institute throughout its history.

Individually, the scholars and scientists who have spent time at the Institute have been remarkably prolific; collectively, they have literally changed the world and our understanding of it. In every decade, from every region of the world.