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authority records

Bonnet, Henri

  • Person
  • 1888–1978

Born in 1888, Henri Bonnet was a French diplomat. A graduate of the École normale supérieure, he became a history teacher, and fought during the First World War. In 1919 he was in charge of the foreign policy section of the French radical daily L’Ère nouvelle. From 1921, he was Joseph Avenol’s chief of staff at the Office of the Assistant Secretary General, Joseph Avenol.

After Julien Luchaire’s resignation in 1930, Bonnet was appointed Director of the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IIIC) on 1 January 1931 for a period of seven years. His mandate was renewed for a second term. During his time as director, the IIIC launched the Entretiens series, one of the IIIC’s most visible projects, which gathered public intellectuals for interviews on a variety of topics and published the proceedings. Other projects included international collaboration on the teaching of history, popular arts, radio broadcasting, and libraries. In June 1940, at the instruction of the Quai d’Orsay, Bonnet transferred the IIIC staff to Guérande, then to Bordeaux. He then put Français Ristorcelli in charge of the administration and finances of the IIIC and appointed an interim committee for intellectual affairs, before leaving France to go to London and then to the US.

During the war, he served as vice-president of the ‘France forever’ committee between 1941 and 1943, became Information Commissioner on the Comité Français de Libération Nationale (CFLN), and later, between June 1943 and September 1944, he was Information Minister of the provisional French government (GPRF). In 1942, reflecting on his experiences as Director of the IIIC, he drew up plans for the future United Nations (Harley 1943). In 1944, Bonnet was appointed French Ambassador in Washington. Replaced as director of the IIIC by Jean-Jacques Mayoux in February 1945, he still participated at the London conference in November 1945 which put an end to the activities of the IIIC and saw the rise of the UNESCO system. Bonnet remained Ambassador in Washington until 1954. He died in 1978 in Paris.

Bonnevie, Kristine

  • Person
  • 1872-1948

Kristine Bonnevie was born in Trondheim, Norway, in 1872. A Zoologist, she was the first woman to be elected to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (1911), and the first woman to hold a professorship at the University of Oslo (beginning in 1912).

Bonnevie was a Norwegian delegate to the League of Nations (LN) in 1921. In this capacity, she assured that women would be included in the future International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC). When the ICIC was founded in 1922, she was one of the twelve original members. She defended an ICIC as international and as apolitical as possible. She supported reforms of the Organisation of Intellectual Cooperation in 1929, and she helped to draw up the program of the ICIC in 1930. That same year, she left the ICIC in order to devote her time to scientific research, but she remained a member of the Norwegian Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (founded in 1924). Bonnevie died in 1948 in Oslo.

Bose, Jagadish Chandra

  • Person
  • 1858-1937

Jagadish Chanra Bose was born in Mymensigh, Bengal (today Bangladesh), in 1858. At the age of nine he was sent to school in Calcutta. After graduating from the University of Calcutta he went to Great Britain in 1880. He took up medical studies and then studied physics at Cambridge. Once awarded his degree, he obtained a post as professor of physics at Presidency College of Calcutta. Between 1894 and 1900 he led pioneering work on electromagnetic waves. He then shifted his research focus to the study of plant physiology. In 1903 he was awarded a CBE. In 1912 he became a Companion of the Star of India (CSI). He retired in 1915, but remained an emeritus professor for the following five years. In 1916 he was knighted by the British government and the following year opened the Bose Institute, the first scientific research institute in India.

Bose was a member of the ICIC between 1924 and 1930. He worked on the establishment of an Indian Committee of Intellectual Cooperation beginning in 1925. It was, however, during the tenure of his successor, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan that this Committee was installed (1935–36). He died in 1937 in Giridih, Bihar.

Bourgeois, Léon

  • Person
  • 1851-1925

Léon Bourgeois was born in 1851 in Paris. After having fought in the Franco-Prussian war, he studied law at the Faculté de droit de Paris. He entered the civil service in 1876 and became a departmental prefect in 1887. The following year, he was elected to the Assemblée nationale. From 1890 until 1892 and again in 1892 he served as Minister of Education, where he introduced major reforms. He then assumed the office of Minister of Justice for two years. Having served in a number ministerial positions, Bourgeois was elected Prime Minister, and held office from November 1895 until April 1896. He served as Minister of Public Works in 1912 and 1917, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1914. Bourgeois died in 1925.

A member of the Radical-Socialist Party and a committed internationalist, Bourgeois participated at the 1899 The Hague Conference and in 1903 was appointed to the International Court of Justice. In 1907 he represented France at the Second Hague Conference. He was involved in the preparatory work for the drawing up of the League of Nations (LN) Covenant, and headed the French Association for the League of Nations. He represented France in 1919 at the LN.

At the suggestion of Bourgeois, Henri Bergson became the inaugural President of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC) in 1922.


Čapek, Karel

  • Person
  • 1890-1938

Karel Čapek was born at Malé Svatoňovice, Bohemia, in 1890. He studied philosophy and literature at the universities of Prague, Berlin and Paris, where he defended a thesis on esthetics in 1915. After his studies he devoted himself to literature and translation, publishing works of French poetry and Anglo-Saxon philosophy during the war. After 1919, he focused on theatre and directed the city theatre in Prague where he staged for the first time Les Conci de Shelley.

Čapek became a member of the Permanent Committee on Arts and Letters in 1931. At the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC) he advocated a number of measures meant to use music as a means for mutual understanding between peoples. In 1937 he also participated in a collective work, entitled “Vers un novel humanisme”, part of the IIIC’s series of interviews. He died in 1938 in Prague.

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