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Regarding the discussion about the source of MIT's Building 20's creativity: my father David L. Bobroff, a physicist, worked in Building 20 for a number of years right after WW II. His explanation for its creativity was in part that the building had been thrown up so quickly during the war that its scientists were allowed to do whatever they needed to the building itself. The building was no architectural gem. So if physicists wanted to try an experiment that required, say, wires running from a lab on one floor to somewhere on another floor, they were welcome to rig it up however they wanted to, drilling holes through ceilings and walls or whatever - because everyone expected that scientific experimentation would create exciting progress for human beings. So it was partly that freedom for scientists and engineers to remake their environment experimentally that was key - something like kids' dream of being free to play messily and creatively together.

I do also remember the wonderful friendships my father had with his international colleagues, who used to come to our house on weekends. He was happier during those years, I think, than any time I knew him afterward.