Special Section: Troubles with Intellectuals

In 1949, after the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb, there was speculation in the Western press that famed Nuclear Scientist Pyotr Kapitsa had played a crucial role in the bomb's development. But Kapitsa, according to Khrushchev, refused to get involved in military research. Here is Khrushchev's version of their relationship.

I asked him, "Comrade Kapitsa, why won't you work on something of military significance? We badly need you to work on our defense program." To the best of my recollection, he answered, "I'm a scientist, and scientists are like artists. They want other people to talk about their work, to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!