Karl Popper Institut Vienna


Melitta Mew

The K.P.I. was founded with the full support of my husband and myself by Sir Karl Popper's friend and former lawyer, Dr. Erich Kadlec, Vienna. The initial purpose was to have in place a legitimate body, approved by the executors of Karl's estate, to safeguard his interests in Austria, where after his death one or two societies sprang up using his name to elicit funds for activities that had nothing whatever to do with Karl's work.

At the inaugural sitting of the Board of the Karl Popper Institut on 31 October 1996, Dr. Erich Kadlec was voted President, and Professor Dr. Erhard Oeser of the University of Vienna, Vice-President. Prof. Oeser is also an old friend of Karl's, and head of the Institut fuer Wissenschaftstheorie und Wissenschaftsforschung at the university. He has organised a 'Ringvorlesung' every other week in Vienna under the auspices of the K.P.I., entitled 'Offenes Universum -Offene Gesellschaft'. The first of these will be on 16 October 1998 with a lecture by Bryan Magee on Sir Karl Popper's philosophy.

Members of the Scientific Board are, among others, Bryan Magee, Prof. Guenter Wachtershaeuser, Prof. Hubert Kiesewetter, David Miller, Lord Dahrendorf. It is envisaged that work will soon begin on editing and publishing Karl's early German writings, including his three doctoral dissertations. Incidentally, there exists now in Vienna a school for gifted children named 'Sir Karl Popper Schule', as well as the 'Karl Popper Schule' where Karl taught as a school master before emigrating .

It is hoped that a full research programme will be in place soon, especially since the K,P.I. is in possession of a full microfilm copy of Sir Karl Popper's papers at the Hoover. As soon as the remaining papers - unbelievable masses of them - are shipped to the Hoover Institution, they will be sorted out and catalogued, and copies will be donated by us to the K.P.I. as well as to the University of Klagenfurt, the depository of Karl's library. The L.S.E. will also receive a copy after receiving from Sir Karl a microfilm set of the Hoover papers.

I don't know whether you are aware that an English lecturer at Auckland University is working on a biography of Karl Popper. His name is Dr. Brian Boyd, noted for his highly acclaimed biography of Vladimir Nabokov - yes I know, a far cry from Karl Popper! We like Brian Boyd who has just spent some time with us.

Here follows the address of the Karl Popper Institut:
Schwarzenbergstrasse 8,
A-1010 Wien, Austria
Tel. (0043-1) 512 06 52
Fax: 513 7717

There is at present no printed pamphlet on the K.P.I. But we have already received quite a few letters from Karl's former friends and associates, for example in Spain and Portugal, expressing a wish to be put in contact with the K.P.I.

The above information is perhaps not very well put together, but I hope it gives you an idea of what has been happening.