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    Paul Langevin. Autograph Manuscript Signed.
    "Paul Langevin." Three pages in French, 8.5" x 10.75", n.p.; n.d. This handwritten manuscript, with various cross outs and corrections, is entitled "Science in the Service of Peace." It is not clear if this was drafted between World War I and World War II or right after World War II. The following [in English translation] is a partial transcription.

    "Science and technology have been used since the beginnings of man to perfect the art of killing. The recent war have given rise to particularly destructive methods and in the event of future war, we are told to expect chemical or microbial warfare. This danger to humanity can leave us doubting the value of progress in the first place; even those not appalled by the idea of another war are beginning to see this danger for what it is. Those scientists who are, by their works, transforming warfare into a force with the potential to wipe out humanity have the duty to be extremely vigilant as to the uses of their work and to speak out vehemently against the danger they are helping to create. Whether scientific progress is used for good or evil is not up to us. International agreements are useless as well. The only way is to eradicate warfare altogether. International agreements are insincere and hypocritical; they create an illusion of stability and peace whereby war industries continue to thrive and governments continue to pursue prohibited research under the assumption that all governments are doing so. Once a conflict arises, someone will inevitably present themselves to rip up the agreement. We cannot wait for sincere international agreements. We must end war and the sophist discourse of security through armaments; we must spread the conviction that international justice is a question of life or death for humanity. The first duty of scientists at this hour is to protest vigorously against the very concept of war and against the interests that seek to maintain the status quo of resolving international disputes through the use of violence and which must instead be addressed with reason. We must forge alliances and unleash an unassailable propaganda to educate the public that Peace will be only if we bring it about and Justice will be only if we build it with the will of all peoples. We must apply constant pressure to governments for them to finalize the necessary agreements and create the necessary international agencies. The virtue of the hero and the efforts of the scientist must, together, work toward peace instead of against humanity."

    Paul Langevin (1872-1946) was a French physicist who developed Langevin dynamics and the Langevin equation. He was one of the founders of the Comité de vigilance des intellectuels antifascistes, an antifascist organization created in the wake of the February 6, 1934 far right riots. A doctoral student of Pierre Curie and later a lover of Marie Curie, he was president of the Human Rights League (LDH) from 1944 to 1946 and a member of the French Communist Party.

    A fascinating view of a leading scientist on the use of science in the cause of peace.

    Condition: The manuscript has the usual folds; with weakening, and some tearing at the edges, along the center horizontal folds on all three pages. Fragile.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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