Article ID: CBB000651667

Poor Taste as a Bright Character Trait: Emmy Noether and the Independent Social Democratic Party (2005)

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The creation of algebraic topology required all the energy and the temperament of Emmy Noether according to topologists Paul Alexandroff and Heinz Hopf. Alexandroff stressed Noether's radical pro-Russian politics, which her colleagues found in poor taste; yet he found a bright trait of character. She joined the Independent Social Democrats (USPD) in 1919. They were tiny in Göttingen until that year when their vote soared as they called for a dictatorship of the proletariat. The Minister of the Army and many Göttingen students called them Bolshevist terrorists. Noether's colleague Richard Courant criticized USPD radicalism. Her colleague Hermann Weyl downplayed her radicalism and that view remains influential but the evidence favors Alexandroff. Weyl was ambivalent in parallel ways about her mathematics and her politics. He deeply admired her yet he found her abstractness and her politics excessive and even dangerous.

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Description On the political radicalism of an algebraic topologist.


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Authors & Contributors
Tobies, Renate
Mechthild Koreuber
Lewis, Albert C.
Hentschel, Klaus
Ullrich, Peter
Hirzebruch, Friedrich
Journals
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Historia Mathematica
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
Revue d'Histoire des Mathématiques
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Publishers
Synchron Verlag
American Mathematical Society
Heidelberg Springer
Hermann
Routledge
Springer Spektrum
Concepts
Mathematics
Topology
Science and politics
Algebra
National Socialism
Women in science
People
Noether, Emmy
Poincaré, Jules Henri
Alexandroff, Pavel Sergejewitsch
Volterra, Vito
Kuratowski, Kazimierez
Gregory, Duncan Farquharson
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century, late
20th century
Modern
Places
Germany
Berlin (Germany)
France
Prague (Czechia)
Institutions
University of Chicago
Göttingen. Universität
Göttingen Academy
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