A Visit to the Royal Society

A Visit to the Royal Society
12th March 2024 Moriah Aharon
A warm welcome to Hebrew University Professor Hanoch Gutfreund and internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, in London to participate today in ‘Einstein: A New Home in Jerusalem’ at JW3.
As part of their visit, they were granted a private tour at the Royal Society, the UK’s National Academy of Sciences, based at 6–9 Carlton House Terrace, a Grade I listed building in central London which was previously used by the Embassy of Germany during WWII. There they explored some of Einstein’s documents kept in the archives, viewed two original portraits of the genius and delved into the history of the place dating back to 1660. 

They also took a peek at a 400-year-old book in which fellows and foreign members are required to sign when they join the Royal Society. This book is known as the Charter Book, which has been signed continuously since 1663. All British monarchs have signed the book since then, apart from William and Mary, and Queen Anne. Other famous signatures noted were those of Sigmund Freud and Isaac Newton, but one was notably absent and remains a mystery: the signature of Prof Albert Einstein himself.

Additionally, they learned about Isaac Newton, who, in addition to being a mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, theologian, author and the 12th President of the Royal Society, was also a Christian Kabbalist who learned Hebrew to read the main book of Kabbalah, the Zohar. Hanoch also shared insights into why some of Newton’s remarkable documents that are stored at the National Library in Jerusalem, which was previously the Hebrew University Library.