A Word to Set the Stage for a Memento from the Recent Past

Howard S. Becker


In the academic year 1969-70, I was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California. I became very friendly with one of the other fellows, Stevan Dedijer, a Serbian physicist who had, through a complicated history, became a sociologist of science policy, and who was at the time, and from then until his retirement, a professor of science policy at the University of Lund in Sweden. Steve had had considerable experience in radical politics in the United States; after finishing a Ph. D. in physics in the early Thirties he had edited a Communist Serbian language newspaper for steelworkers in Pittsburgh. He fought in WWII as a member of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division, and returned to Yugoslavia after the war, where he was head of the Belgrade Nuclear Institute. After the fall of Milovan Djilas, with whom his brother Vladimir had been closely associated, he found it expedient to leave Yugoslavia, and moved to Sweden and his new career as a sociologist of science.

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