1917 – David Bohm, American-English physicist, neuropsychologist, and philosopher is born.
David Joseph Bohm FRS was an American scientist who has been described as one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century and who contributed unorthodox ideas to quantum theory, neuropsychology and the philosophy of mind.
Bohm advanced the view that quantum physics meant that the old Cartesian model of reality – that there are two kinds of substance, the mental and the physical, that somehow interact – was too limited. To complement it, he developed a mathematical and physical theory of “implicate” and “explicate” order. He also believed that the brain, at the cellular level, works according to the mathematics of some quantum effects, and postulated that thought is distributed and non-localised just as quantum entities are.
Bohm warned of the dangers of rampant reason and technology, advocating instead the need for genuine supportive dialogue, which he claimed could broaden and unify conflicting and troublesome divisions in the social world. In this, his epistemology mirrored his ontology. Due to his youthful Communist affiliations, Bohm was the subject of a federal government investigation in 1949, prompting him to leave the United States. He pursued his scientific career in several countries, becoming first a Brazilian and then a British citizen.
Bohm’s main concern was with understanding the nature of reality in general and of consciousness in particular as a coherent whole, which according to Bohm is never static or complete but rather an unfolding process.
1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs.
Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I) is a decommissioned research reactor and U.S. National Historic Landmark located in the desert about 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Arco, Idaho. At 1:50 pm on December 20, 1951, it became the world’s first electricity-generating nuclear power plant when it produced sufficient electricity to illuminate four 200-watt light bulbs. It subsequently generated sufficient electricity to power its building, and continued to be used for experimental purposes until it was decommissioned in 1964.
1971 – The international aid organization Doctors Without Borders is founded by Bernard Kouchner and a group of journalists in Paris, France.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known in some English-speaking regions (esp. the USA) as Doctors Without Borders, is an international humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization (NGO) and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic diseases. It was founded in France in response to the Biafran War. The organization is known in most of the world by its localized name or simply as MSF; in Canada and the United States the name Doctors Without Borders is commonly used. In 2015 over 30,000, mostly local, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, logistical experts, water and sanitation engineers and administrators provided medical aid in over 70 countries. These doctors and nurses decided to volunteer their time to solve issues of world health. Private donors provide about 90% of the organization’s funding, while corporate donations provide the rest, giving MSF an annual budget of approximately US$750 million.
Médecins Sans Frontières was created in 1971, in the aftermath of the Biafra secession, by a small group of French doctors and journalists who believed that all people have the right to medical care regardless of race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national borders.