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Max Planck Society and the Kaiser Wilhelm Society

Disruption and continuity 1911-2011

The Max Planck Society is one of the most renowned organizations for basic research. Its history is crowned with a great many successes, but at the same time it has also to look back on the legacy of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. Nobel Prize laureates like Albert Einstein, Max Planck and Otto Hahn represent the glorious facet of the Society. When casting a glance into the past, however, it is also imperative to review the cooperation between the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and the Nazi regime. To mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, the book “LOOKING BACK TOWARDS THE FUTURE” reviews the history of the two scientific institutions through photographs, essays and interviews. It portrays an outstanding chapter of recent science history. It takes a look at abandoned and existing buildings in which research was and is being conducted, and at the people working in them. The book also showcases outstanding scientific discoveries like nuclear fission in 1938, as well as important locations like the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, which was inaugurated in 1913.