Our country, like every modern state, needs profound democratic reforms. It needs political and ideological pluralism, a mixed economy and protection of human rights and the opening up of society.
My present work concerns the problems connected with the theory of elementary particles, the theory of gravitation and cosmology and I shall be glad if I can manage to make some contribution to these important branches of science.
I grew up in a large communal apartment where most of the rooms were occupied by my family and relations and only a few by outsiders. The house was pervaded by a strong traditional family spirit-a vital enthusiasm for work and respect for professional competence.
Both now and for always, I intend to hold fast to my belief in the hidden strength of the human spirit.
My public stand represented a turning point for me and my entire future. The article very quickly became known throughout the world. For a long time the Soviet press contained no mention of the Progress, and later references were either disapproving in the extreme or else ironic. A great many critics, even if sympathetically disposed towards me, regarded my reflections in this work as exceedingly naive and speculative.
My father played the piano remarkably well, in particular Chopin, Grieg, Beethoven and Scriabin. During the civil war he earned a living by playing the accompaniment to silent films at the cinema.
I am especially grateful for the memory of my grandmother, Maria Petrovna, who was the family's good spirit. She died before the war at the age of 79. My grandmother brought up six children and when she was around 50 years old she taught herself English all on her own.
I am no professional politician-which is perhaps why I am continually obsessed by the question as to the purpose served by the work done by my friends and myself, as well as its final result.
In 1947 I defended my thesis on nuclear physics, and in 1948 I was included in a group of research scientists whose task was to develop nuclear weapons.
I worked under conditions of the highest security and under great pressure, first in Moscow and subsequently in a special secret research centre. At the time we were all convinced that this work was of vital significance for the balance of power in the world and we were fascinated by the grandeur of the task.
We must make demands of reason and create a life worthy of ourselves and of the goals we only dimly perceive
For me, the moral difficulties lie in the continual pressure brought to bear on my friends and immediate family, pressure which is not directed against me personally but which at the same time is all around me.
In and after 1964 when I began to concern myself with the biological issues, and particularly from 1967 onwards, the extent of the problems over which I felt uneasy increased to such a point that in 1968 I felt a compelling urge to make my views public.
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Albert Einstein - Roger Penrose - Niels Bohr - Murray Gell-Mann - James Prescott Joule - Ilya Prigogine - Freeman Dyson - Enrico Fermi - Edward Teller - Andrei Sakharov