Rockefeller and the Internationalization of Mathematics Between the Two Worlds Wars: Documents and Studies for the Social History of Mathematics in the 20th Century (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, Apr 1, 2001 - Education - 341 pages
0 Reviews

Philanthropies funded by the Rockefeller family have been prominent in the social history of the twentieth century for their involvement in medicine and applied science. This book provides the first detailed study of their relatively brief but nonetheless influential foray into the field of mathematics. The careers of a generation of pathbreakers in modern mathematics, such as S.Banach, B.L.van der Waerden and André Weil, were decisively affected by their becoming fellows of the Rockefeller-funded International Education Board in the 1920s. To help promote cooperation between physics and mathematics Rockefeller funds supported the erection of the new Mathematical Institute in Göttingen between 1926 and 1929, while the rise of probability and mathematical statistics owes much to the creation of the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris by American philanthropy at about the same time. This account draws upon the documented evaluation processes behind these personal and institutional involvements of philanthropies. It not only sheds light on important events in the history of mathematics and physics of the 20th century but also analyzes the comparative developments of mathematics in Europe and the United States. Several of the documents are given in their entirety as significant witnesses to the gradual shift of the centre of world mathematics to the USA. This shift was strengthened by the Nazi purge of German and European mathematics after 1933 to which the Rockefeller Foundation reacted with emergency programs that subsequently contributed to the American war effort. The general historical and political background of the events discussed in this book is the mixture of competition and cooperation between the various European countries and the USA after World War I, and the consequences of the Nazi dictatorship after 1933. Ideological positions of both the philanthropists and mathematicians mattered heavily in that process. Cultural bias in the selection of fellows and of disciplines supported, and the economic predominance of American philanthropy, led among other things to a restriction of the programs to Europe and America, to an uneven consideration of European candidates, and to preferences for Americans. Political self-isolation of the Soviet Union contributed to an increasing alienation of that important mathematical culture from Western mathematics. By focussing on a number of national cultures the investigation aims to represent a step toward a true inter-cultural comparison in mathematics.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction The Internationalization of Mathematics and the Interests Therein of Scientists and Philanthropists
1
The Notion of Internationalization as Used in this Book and the Unity of the International and National Dimensions of Science and Mathematics
2
The Political and Ideological Dimension of Internationalization and Tentative Remarks About the More General Notion of Modernization
7
Patriotic Political Posturing of German Scientists After World War I and the Exemplary Degree of Internationalization of German Science An Examp...
13
American Philanthropic Foundations and Their Interest in International Science and Mathematics Between the Two World Wars
16
The Intersection Between the Interests of Mathematicians and of the Foundations and the Main Goals of this Book
20
The Political and Economic Conditions for International Scientific Collaboration After World War I and the Situation in Mathematics
27
Roses Trip to Europe 192324 and the Political and Economic Conditions for International Scientific Collaboration Especially Migrations After World...
30
The Foundation of the INSTITUT HENRI POINCARE in Paris
156
21 The Beginnings of the Institute the Initial Role of Mathematical Physics and the Gradual Realization of Trowbridges Memo of May 1926
157
22 Introducing the Name Henri Poincare and Opening the Institute in November 1928
161
23 The INSTITUT HENRI POINCARE as an Element of Further Institutional Development in French Mathematics
166
The Role of Stochastics and the International Lecture Program in the 1930s
169
25 The INSTITUT HENRI POINCARE Released From Rockefeller Influence and Protection Until the Early PostWar Years
176
The Mathematical Institute in Djursholm Sweden A Case of Rockefeller Help Refused
178
Excursus The Foundation of the School of Mathematics of the INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY Princeton Around 1932 and its Relation to th...
180

Roses Trip to Europe the Place of Physics and Mathematics in His Plan and the Peculiar Situation of German Mathematics
35
Emergency Help Following Roses Trip to Europe Support for Mathematical Publications and the Exceptional Founding of a New Journal The Journa...
38
International Comparisons in Mathematics on the Eve of Birkhoff s Trip to Europe
42
Birkhoff as the Leading American Mathematician His Trip to Europe in 1926 and His Conclusions for the Problem of Mathematical Communication
46
Changed Assessments Following Birkhoffs Trip to Europe of the Relative Standing of International Mathematical Centres
50
Summary and Conclusions
55
General Ideological and Political Positions Underlying the IEBs Activities
57
The Relation Between Saving and Developing Scientific Cultures and Between Advanced and Backward Countries
61
AntiSemitism as an Example for Political Resentments
63
The Excellence and Best Science Policy of the IEB and Its Inherent Conflict With Support for Backward Countries First Examples from the IEB Fello...
64
Limits for the Transfer to Europe of the American Sociological Ideal of Cooperative Work in the Sciences
69
Further American Ideals and Requirements of Communication Decentralization Oral Communication Matching Funds LargeScale Grants
71
Summary and Conclusions
74
The Practice of the Fellowship Programs of IEB 19231928 and RF After 1928 and the Particular Situation of Mathematics
77
Criteria for the Selection of Fellows Problems of Meeting the Criteria and Exceptions Made
79
Details and Examples
81
The Restricted Power of the AdvisorsSponsors Counselling Tactics and Dependence on the Philanthropists Values
92
The FellowshipList Some Related Statistics and First Conclusions Especially With Respect to the Rise of American Mathematics
96
Reflections on and Impressions of the Cognitive Dimension of the Fellowship Programs
106
Selected Social Problems of Scientific Mathematical Communication in the 1920s and 1930s Particularly in France as Revealed in the Sources on Fell...
119
The Rise of SovietRussian Mathematics and Problems of Response on the Part of Rockefeller Philanthropy Especially Besicovitch Lusin and Kolmog...
125
The Dominance of National American Interests in the IEBRF Policies
133
Excursus The Guggenheim Fellowship Program Since 1926
138
Summary and Conclusions
139
The Institute Projects in Europe 19261928 Gottingen Paris a Project Turned Down in Djursholm and an Excursus on the Institute for Advanced Stud...
143
The IEB Erects a New Mathematics Institute in Gottingen
144
11 Trowbridges Visit to Gottingen in October 1925
145
12 The Visit of Trowbridge and Birkhoff to Gottingen July 1926
148
13 The Fate of the Institute and Its Director Courant Under Nazi Rule
155
Summary and Conclusions
184
The Emergency Program of the RF After 1933 and Changing Attitudes of the RF VisAVis Mathematics Before the War Mathematics Caught Between...
187
The Seizure of Power by the Nazis in Germany Consequences for Mathematics Reactions by Rockefeller Philanthropy and the Impact on the Regular ...
190
The Rockefeller Emergency Programs and Mathematics
192
Support for Interdisciplinary Research and Bordering Subjects of Mathematics and Taking Responsibility for General European Values
206
Summary and Conclusions
214
Epilogue
217
Notes
221
Appendices
245
GHHards Memorandum on the Position of the London Mathematical Society to the INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION BOARD April 1924
247
Nikolaj Lusins Application for a IEB Fellowship March 271926 Excerpts
250
Paul Montel 1944 on the Origin of Plans for the INSTITUT HENRI POINCARE in 1926
251
A Memorandum by ATrowbridge IEB on a Meeting With Emile Borel Concerning Plans for the Foundation of an Institute for Mathematics and Mat...
253
Report by Augustus Trowbridge on his Trip to Gottingen July 2 through July 41926
256
GD Birkhoff s Report to the IEB of September 1926 Concerning His Trip to Europe
265
Richard Courants Assessment of American Mathematics as of 1927
272
IEBFellow Heinz Hopf 1928 on the Exemplary Sports Facilities at American Universities
275
David Hilberts Request 1933 to His Former American Doctoral Student Mason then President of the ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION in Favour of D...
276
Richard Courant 1933 on Support by Rockefeller Philanthropy for the Erection of the Mathematical Institute in Gottingen 19261929
277
Correspondence between Birkhoff Borel and Weaver 193738 on the future role of the INSTITUT HENRI POINCARE Paris
279
Hermann Weyl 1941 of Princeton to the RockefellerSponsored NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH About Chances to Save the Bourbaki Ent...
284
Richard Courants Letter 1944 to the OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION on the Rockefeller Contribution to Science and Mathematics
286
List of IEBRF Fellows in Mathematics Until 1945
288
Guggenheim Fellows in Mathematics Chronological List Until 1945
302
Dismissed Mathematicians From Europe Who Were Supported by the RF Emergency Fund
304
Literature and Archival Sources
307
Name Index
319
Subject Index
328
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2001)

Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze is professor of the history of mathematics at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, in Norway.

Bibliographic information