Ernst Peter Fischer on Max Delbruck: European and American Sensibilities
  Ernst Peter Fischer     Biography    
Recorded: 23 Jun 2000

And of course with respect to America though Max loved America. Max loved to be in Pasadena. Max loved New York, loved Cold Spring Harbor. Deep in his heart he was a European. I mean he talked about the –the __________- the great old lady Europe.

I mean once a European always a European. He had to go back to Berlin—I mean he knew that a lot of things went wrong. The scientific enterprise would not be organized as well as it could be, some scientific institutions would not work as good as they should—but there is something else in Europe.

I mean there’s also a tradition of the institute we have and he knew about this and always he liked to go back to Europe especially in the big cities where the cultural centers used to be. So he was—he tried to be, he tried to catch the positive of being an American and the positive side of being a European. And I think he managed. I mean, he had all the advantages of European knowledge, European wisdom and American cleverness and intelligence without having any disadvantage.

Ernst Peter Fischer, Professor of the History of Science at the University of Constance since 1994. He studied mathematics and physics in Cologne and biology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He earned Ph.D. in biology and qualified as a professor in the history of science.

He has published biographies of Max Delbrück, Niels Bohr, Wolfgang Pauli and James D. Watson and received several awards for his scientific publications. Fischer is an author of such books as "Die andere Bildung", "Selling science - The history of Boehringer Mannheim" and "Das Genom" - an introduction into modern genome research.

He has been honoured with the Heinrich-Bechold-Medaille (1980), Preis der wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft Freiburg (1981); Lorenz-Oken-Medaille (2002), Treviranus-Medaille (2003) and Eduard-Rhein-Kulturpreis (2003).