Leo Szilard, John von Neumann, Eugene Wigner, Edward Teller, and Theodore von Kármán five of the greatest mathematical and scientific geniuses of the 20th century, grew up at the same time in Budapest, Hungary. One explanation given for that startling fact was that they were Martians whose spaceship just happened to land in Budapest. Another was that they excelled in mathematics at an early age because a mathematical contest (the Eötvös Mathematics Competition) in which a cash prize (the Bolyai Prize) was offered inspired them to them to think about mathematical questions. Whatever the reason, all five helped to develop the first atom bomb. Hopefully the Kemper Human Rights Essay contest will motivate students to solve human rights problems so that sooner rather than later every country in the world will put in place mechanisms to ensure everyone’s human rights are everywhere realized.


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