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Photo Exhibit at World Youth Festival Underlines Unity of Science and Culture

March 17, 2024 (EIRNS)—A photo exhibit entitled “Physicists and Lyricists” was held at the March 1-7 World Youth Festival in Sochi, Russia, which gathered 20,000 participants from 190 countries. The theme of the exhibit was that science and culture are both stemming from the same human creativity and enrich each other, rejecting, as Lyndon LaRouche did so forcefully, the C.S. Lewis dichotomy between the two.

The goal seemed to be to use figures, primarily from today’s “youth culture,” film stars, singers, et al., and put them together with leading figures in science, who are not so well known. It is undoubtedly an attempt to interest youth in careers in science, which is a main thrust of the Putin government at this time. Under each portrait, they did, however, have comments from leading people in both culture and science underlying the importance and the connection of both to the same qualities of the human mind.

Two incidents that come to mind in regard to this matter is first, the visit of a young Sergei Korolev from his home in Odessa to Kiev in order to take up his study of airplane construction in the 1920s. For the first time he saw the statue of Pushkin in one of the main squares (which the Zelenskyy regime has now demolished) and stood for several minutes in awe of the figure, whose poetry was a favorite of the young engineer and his wife. The second incident is when science writer Willy Ley first met Wernher von Braun at Ley’s home in Berlin. Both were in their early twenties. Ley was struggling (as he put it) with a difficult sonata for piano, when he was interrupted by von Braun’s visit. Ley told von Braun of his difficulty in the piece, at which point von Braun sat down at the piano and played Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 by heart.