This weekend, The University of Chicago hosts a two-day celebration of Albert Schweitzer’s humanitarian, musical, and anti-nuclear legacy.
Yesterday, that legacy was discussed in depth on “Worldview,” a popular international affairs program on WBEZ, Chicago’s National Public Radio affiliate. “Worldview” host Jerome McDonnell spoke with ASF President Dr. Lachlan Forrow and Kennette Benedict, Executive Director and Publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Listen to the full interview here.
- Schweitzer was the world’s leading Bach scholar in his 20s — Yo-Yo Ma says, “He taught me how to interpret Bach.”
- During his U.S. visit, Schweitzer visited the then-little-known mining town of Aspen for a cultural festival. It was such a success that the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Musical Festival were created the next year, inspired by Schweitzer.
- Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring — the book that launched the modern environmental movement — is dedicated to Schweitzer.
- Schweitzer was friends with another influential Albert: Einstein.
- Schweitzer believed in individual human moral force: he said that if the people of the world insisted their governments abolish nuclear weapons, those governments would have no choice but to listen. He wrote a speech to that effect in 1957. The Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee read it over global shortwave radio. It was the first time in human history that global telecommunications were used to advocate for health, peace, and the environment.