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Robert Oppenheimer
1904 - 1967

American physicist and chemist, director of the U.S. military's Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending Japan's participation in the Second World War.


As long as men are free to ask what they must; free to say what they think; free to think what they will; freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.

Oct. 10, 1949 - quoted in Life Magazine
There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any error. Where science has been used in the past to erect a new dogmatism, that dogmatism has found itself incompatible with the progress of science; and in the end, the dogma has yielded, or science and freedom have perished together.

Oct. 10, 1949 - quoted in Life Magazine
We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert.