Albert Einstein on Intellectuals and the Masses,
Specialization and the Division of Labor,
and the Quality Of Life

Exaggerated respect for athletics, an excess of coarse impressions which the complications of life through the technical discoveries of recent years has brought with it, the increased severity of the struggle for existence due to the economic crisis, the brutalization of political life--all these factors are hostile to the ripening of the character and the desire for real culture, and stamp our age as barbarous, materialistic, and superficial. Specialization in every sphere of intellectual work is producing an ever-widening gulf between the intellectual worker and the non-specialist, which makes it more difficult for the life of the nation to be fertilized and enriched by the achievements of art and science.

But contact between the intellectual and the masses must not be lost. It is necessary for the elevation of society and no less so for renewing the strength of the intellectual worker; for the flower of science does not grow in the desert.

 — Albert Einstein, from "Congratulations to Dr. Solf", in: The World As I See It, translated by Alan Harris (New York: Philosophical Library, 1949), pp. 20-21.

Note: Use of quotations by Einstein (regardless of source) in a publication requires permission from The Albert Einstein Archives (

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