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Subject: Ivan M. Havel, Scientist, brother of Czech President Václav Havel

Dead at 82
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Date Posted: Monday, April 26, 11:50:29am


Ivan M. Havel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ivan Miloš Havel (October 11, 1938 – April 25, 2021) was Czech scientist and philosopher.

He was the brother of President Václav Havel, with whom he was one of the founders of the Civic Forum.



APRIL 25, 2021 8:40 PM ,

Scientist Ivan Havel, brother of the former president, died. He was 82 years old.

Prague Ivan Havel, a respected scientist and younger brother of former dissident and later Czech and Czechoslovak President Václav Havel, died on Sunday at the age of 82. Together they were among the founders of the Civic Forum during the revolutionary days of 1989. Michael Žantovský, director of the Václav Havel Library, reported his death on social media, confirming this information to ČTK.

"Ivan Havel died, a man essentially unsuited, always his own, and helpful to others. Thank you for being, Ivan," Žantovský, who served as President Václav Havel's spokesman after the revolution, said on Facebook.

Ivan Havel was an organizer of housing seminars, co-founder of the Civic Forum, support his brother convict Václav and was close to him even during the presidency, senator Pavel Fischer, another associate of President Havel, said on Twitter. "He was a constant in the Goodwill Committee and in Libri prohibiti or at Forum 2000 events," he added.

"Mr. Ivan Havel and I have known each other for a very long time. Back in the pre-revolutionary era, when he held housing seminars on various topics, including astronomical topics. So I had the opportunity to perform there several times. And thanks to Ivan, I also received mediated inquiries from his brother Wenceslas while he was in prison. He was interested in various questions from astronomy in astrophysics. So I could say what was new in the universe," jan Palouš, an astronomer and astrophysicist, remembered Ivan, but also Václav Havel.

Palouš also participated in the establishment of the Centre for Theoretical Studies, of which Ivan Havel was the first director. According to him, the idea for the center began to arise during a trip to the United States in 1990. The centre was to be a continuation of multidisciplinary meetings with Ivan Havel. And later it became a joint workplace of Charles University and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Its aim is to conduct cutting-edge theoretical research in various disciplines of exact, natural and humanities sciences and to look for new forms of interaction between established disciplines. Palouš pointed out that after Ivan Havel ceased to be director of the center, he was called "chief".

"He certainly contributed to the magazine Space, which stands out for its interdisciplinarity," Palouš also recalled ivan havel's work as a long-time editor-in-chief of Space magazine, which he managed from 1990 to 2019. "Ivan Havel painted, too. He painted dicks - such pictures with a joke. I think they come out in every issue of the Universe. And he had an exhibition of those dicks. I think it is one of those aspects that points to the inner workings of Ivan Havel, where there was much more than was known on the outside," Palouš concluded.

"In the role of editor-in-chief of the Universe, Havel predisposed the breadth of his natural science interests, which did not end in science itself, but were directed towards its consequences. He loved the debate, in which he showed the ability to listen to opponents and focus on the nature of the problem. Thanks to him, the Universe survived the 1990s. His numerous contacts in the scientific world have helped the Universe maintain a high name," said Ivan Boháček, a member of the editorial board of The Universe magazine.

The brother of the first Czech President, Ivan M. Havel, took a different course in his life than his artistic sibling and became a respected scientist, his area of interest being computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive sciences and related philosophical questions. Havel, who died on Sunday at the age of 82, was active even after his 80th birthday - he served on the management of space magazine or on the scientific board of the Center for Theoretical Studies. He was also an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Goodwill Committee - Olga Havel Foundation and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Civic Forum Foundation.

When he celebrated his 80th birthday two and a half years ago, he confided in ČTK that he was already at peace with his life. "I'm fundamentally avoiding conflict, and on the outside, it looks like I'm reconciled. In fact, I am reconciled, I do not fight with anyone, and many things that go into the distant future do not bother me, because I know that I will not see it," ivan havel said. "Especially the terrible politics that are going on here does not upset me so much personally, because I am comforted that it will either turn out well or I will not live to see it," added the descendant of a well-known Prague business family, adding that most of all he would like another 40 years to replace four decades of non-freedom.


Ivan Miloš Havel was born on October 11, 1938 in the affluent Prague family of construction entrepreneur Václav Miloš Havel, co-owner of a company that included, for example, prague's Lucerna Palace and Barrandov terraces. Together with his older brother Václav, a later playwright who became President of the Republic after the fall of the Communist regime, they grew up in an environment influenced by the spirit of first-republic intelligence, spending their childhood mostly on the Havel estate in tišnovsko. In addition to their mother, née Vavrečková, grandfather Hugo Vavrečka, a former diplomat, national manager and one of the directors of Bata's factories, had a great influence on them. His father built Barrandov, his uncle was a film entrepreneur, and his second grandfather Vácslav Havel built Lucerna.

But after the communist coup in February 1948, the family lost most of their possessions, and both brothers, as "bourgeois sons," had a hard time access to education. "I've always had A's at school, but I was rejected at grammar school because of my class background or I wasn't allowed to take my brother. So I started teaching to be a gentle mechanic. My mother didn't give up, and she made me cry about going to night high school at the same time... I graduated from A's, but I couldn't go to college again," recalled Ivan Havel, who later got into university, at the intercession of one of the Communist officials, who insisted that talented people should study.

Pioneer of Czech cybernetics
In 1966 he graduated in automation from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague and thanks to political relaxation he managed to study in the United States, where he received a doctorate in computer theory from the University of California, Berkeley. He started his scientific career before leaving for the USA at the Institute of Power Engineering. At the beginning of normalization, he had to leave, not because of his origins, but because of his brother's political activity. He managed to get a place in Čs. academy of sciences, where he lasted until 1979. After Charter 77, in which he did not take part at his brother's request ("one is enough in the family", Wenceslas told him), he was accused of subversion of the Republic.

Ivan Havel was no longer allowed to work at ČSAV and after various peripeteias he took up the company of the Association of Invalides Meta as a programmer for ČKD Semiconductors. In 1989, he was an active co-founder of the Civic Forum, but then refused to enter politics. "And the obvious joy was November 1989, it was a collective euphoria in which one swam like everyone else," he recalled of the end of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, which allowed him to return to his original profession. He began to devote himself fully to his scientific career and pedagogical activities, especially at Charles University.

In 1990 he co-founded the Centre for Theoretical Studies (CTS), of which he was director until 2008. CTS is a joint transdisciplinary workplace of Charles University and the Academy of Sciences and aims to conduct cutting-edge theoretical research in various disciplines of exact, natural and humanities sciences and to look for new forms of interaction between established disciplines. In addition, Havel became an associate professor at Charles University in Prague, and his lectures at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University were popular. Ivan Havel also published extensively, he was the author of a number of professional and popular books. The first one came out - in fact, by mistake and against the will of the regime - at the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, when it was already on the index.

"My book Robotics was published in 1980, thanks to a delay in printing, without the authorities first noticing. Then there was a huge uproar, partly because I thanked the people who spoke out against the regime in the foreword," he said in an interview. After the fall of the communist regime, he published, for example, two sets of essays Open Eyes and Raised Eyebrows (1998) and Raised Eyebrows and a Raised Mind (2005), philosophical dialogues with Zdeněk Neubauer Sidonia and Sakateky Fourteen Steps (2004), together with Michal Ajvaz he published a book of dialogues Dreaming. Year of Letters on Dreams (2008). Already in 1957 he wrote the prose juvenilia Arsemid, which did not get its first book publication until 1997.

Ivan M. Havel was married twice. With his first wife Květa he had sons Prokop and Vojtěch. In 1988 he married Dagmar Ilkovičová, daughter of leading Slovak physicist Dionyz Ilkovič. She is best known as the administrator of the family property that her wife restitutioned and transferred to her.


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