Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Talk on Oswald Veblen and Institute Woods, March 21

Oswald Veblen is a heroic character from Princeton's past. You can read more about him at my website,

George Dyson, author of Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe, will give a talk entitled "Princeton's Christopher Robin - Oswald Veblen and the Six-Hundred-Acre Woods".

It was the third chapter of Dyson's book on Turing, wherein Veblen's life and contributions to early computer development are described, that showed how deep is the legacy Veblen left behind, and made all the more clear why the house the Veblens left in the public trust should be saved and turned into a nature center, as they had desired.

The talk will detail how Veblen's vision and initiative led to the Institute for Advanced Study acquiring some 600 acres of greenspace back in 1930s, setting the stage for later preservation efforts that led to saving the land from development. From a DR Greenway email: "Growing up in these woods, Dyson is in a unique position to recount its journey to preservation. Owned first by William Penn, then  finally to the Institute, Dyson declares, 'Veblen put the fractured pieces back together.'"

The talk is on Thursday, March 21, 2013, 7:00 - 8:30pm at the DR Greenway's Johnson Education Center. More info at

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