Accept Richard Feynman's Van into the Smithsonian Collection
This petition had 517 supporters
Dr. Richard Feynman was a legend of American science — a Nobel-winning theoretical physicist who served his country — working both on the atomic bomb and investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster.
As “the great explainer,” he was also renowned teacher, serving as a mentor and role model for thousands of American scientists.
He was also an incredibly approachable, warm, and hilarious human being, whose crazy adventures and stories humanized math and physics, and inspired several generations of young people to pursue science as a career.
One of his greatest teaching tools was also his method of transportation. His 1974 Dodge van, painted with Feynman Diagrams (mathematical tools he invented) has served as a continuing reminder of the unique genius and invaluable contributions of a great American mind.
This vehicle is a rare example of an object that, at a glance, captures the spirit of a great scientist, that can inspire visitors to learn about the person and the story behind it, and that does all of this in a uniquely American and whimsical way.
We urge the Director of the Smithsonian Institution, and President Obama, to accept “Feynman’s Van” into the Smithsonian Institution’s collection so it may continue to inspire the next generation of scientific pioneers.
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