Index The Garwin Archive

                   Scientist, Citizen, and Government--
                  Ethics in Action (or Ethics Inaction)

                        RICHARD L. HORWITZ LECTURE


                            Richard L. Garwin

                          IBM Research Division
                     Thomas J. Watson Research Center
                               P.O. Box 218
                        Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

                              (914) 945-2555

                      Adjunct Professor of Physics,
                           Columbia University;

                         Adjunct Research Fellow,
                       Kennedy School of Government
                           Harvard University)

                               May 4, 1993

                 Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
                             Aurora, IL 60506


       Experience derived from 40 years of public policy activities
       is  used  to illustrate ethical questions in the light of an
       expanded Golden Rule of behavior.   The illustrations  arise
       primarily in the context of large programs supported by gov-
       ernment  or  industry, in which activities skirt the margins
       of law but still involve questions of ethics and standards.

       S123SCGE                 050393SCGE                 05/03/93
              Views of the author, not of his organizations

       I  present  these views this evening from the perspective of
       more than 40 years of involvement with public policy matters
       concerning, as the title indicates, my own role as scientist
       and citizen in interaction with government and  public  pol-
       icy.    Much  of  this  involvement  has been concerned with
       international security, technology policy, and the future of
       democratic society.

       Following a brief introduction, I will sketch some  of  this
       involvement,  to  provide  the  context for my discussion of
       ethics and conduct.  What this talk lacks in  generality,  I
       hope  it makes up in concrete illustrations that may be eas-
       ier to understand.  Indeed, rather than as inductive or  de-
       ductive, my approach should be taken simply as illustrative.
       The  principles  that I will illustrate are too old and gen-
       eral to emerge by  induction  from  the  examples,  and  the
       actions related hardly follow deductively from ethical prin-
       ciples, many other influences having been involved.

       When a person comes before you and claims to have been doing
       the  same thing for 43 years, you may be pardoned for asking
       whether this is the truth, and if so, whether it is  a  case
       of  early  maturity  or arrested development.   In any case,
       here is the story (or part of it).


       As befits a talk at the  Illinois  Mathematics  and  Science
       Academy,  I begin with my own personal and educational back-
       ground.  I was born in 1928 in Cleveland,  Ohio,  to  Robert
       and  Leona  Garwin  (nee Schwartz).   My father graduated in
       1921 from Case School of Applied Science (now  Case  Western
       Reserve  University)  with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
       He held two jobs at once, as high school teacher  of  "elec-
       tricity"  and  motion  picture  projectionist; my mother had
       been a stenographer before marrying.   My brother,  Ed,  was
       born  in 1933.  I attended the Cleveland public schools, and
       in 1940, moved with my  parents  to  an  Eastern  suburb  of
       Cleveland,  University Heights, from which I attended junior
       and senior high school in Cleveland Heights.  I recall  that
       when  I  was  10 or so, I would enjoy reading the Mechanical
       (or Electrical) Engineer's Handbook.

       I skipped a couple of grades in public school and because of
       the Second World War graduated in an accelerated program  in
       1944 and entered Case School of Applied Science with a major
       in Physics, graduating in 1947.

       I did my graduate work at the University of Chicago, receiv-
       ing  the  Ph.D.  in  Physics in 1949 with Enrico Fermi as my
       thesis sponsor.  The University of Chicago appointed  me  to
       the  faculty  ranks of instructor and then assistant profes-
       sor, which I held until leaving for my career at IBM  Decem-
       ber,  1952.  At that time, the gross income of IBM was about
       $250 M per year.  Had I taken longer for my Ph.D.,  I  would
       have  learned  more, which would probably have been good for

       Because my position at Chicago paid a nine-month salary, and
       I and my wife and first child ate 12 months of the  year,  I
       looked  for  something  to do the other three months.  Fermi
       suggested that I might find it interesting to be a  consult-
       ant  to  the  Los  Alamos  Scientific Laboratory, which from
       April 1943 until July 1945 had built the first three nuclear
       weapons in the world, in which Fermi had  played  a  leading
       role,  following  his  pioneering work that led to the first
       self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at  Chicago  December
       2,  1942.    I did so, and for the first week or so of June,
       1950, I read in the classified report  library  all  of  the
       progress reports from the war and post-war years.

       I was an experimental physicist, and my research of the Uni-
       versity  of Chicago involved what were then state-of-the-art
       machines--   the   100-MeV   betatron   and   the    450 MeV
       synchrocyclotron,  for  which  I  had designed and built ex-
       ternal beam "targets" for experiments on liquid hydrogen and
       liquid deuterium.  So I was quite interested not only in the
       state of development of fission bombs  at  Los  Alamos,  but
       also  in    the  activities toward the thermonuclear weapon,
       usually then called the "super".  In April 1993  I  spent  a
       week  at Los Alamos at a symposium marking the 50th anniver-
       sary of the founding of the Laboratory, so my work in  those
       summers  of  the 1950s and 1960s is fairly fresh in my mind.
       I worked on new techniques for testing  and  diagnostics  of
       the  function of new nuclear weapon designs, and also on the
       specific design of the first thermonuclear explosive,  MIKE,
       detonated  at  Eniwetok  November  1, 1952 with an explosive
       yield of approximately ten million tons of  TNT  equivalent.
       In  1981,  Professor Edward Teller (a recent visitor to this
       Academy) characterized my role as follows:

            "I want to do so by telling you a story of which I  be-
            lieve no one has heard.  In the early 1950's when I had
            the  first  crude  design  of  the  hydrogen bomb, Dick
            Garwin came to Los Alamos and asked  me  how  he  could
            help.    Actually the design I had in mind was not that
            of a real bomb but of a model for  an  experiment.    I
            asked Garwin to change this crude design into something
            approximating a blueprint.  He did so in a short time--
            a  week  or  two.    That  experiment  was carried out.
            Garwin's blueprint had been criticized by many  people,
            including  Hans  Bethe.   In the end the shot was fired
            almost precisely according to Garwin's design,  and  it
            worked as expected."

       When I joined the small IBM Watson Scientific Computing Lab-
       oratory  in December 1952, on the campus of Columbia Univer-
       sity, it was to make a change from particle physics (which I
       found uncongenial in those days) to what would now be called
       condensed   matter   physics,   especially   the   study  of
       superconductivity and liquid and solid helium, which were my
       research interests for more than a decade.  But these activ-
       ities, and my work in gravitational radiation  and  computer
       and  communications technology are irrelevant to the present

       What is relevant, I believe, is the work I did half-time  in
       1953-1954  with  Jerome Wiesner and Jerrold Zacharias in one
       of the famous MIT studies, this one concerned with extending
       the continental air defense of the United States and  Canada
       to  the sea lines of approach of bombers from the Soviet Un-
       ion.  Although I had already spent three summers (3,4, and 5
       months respectively) in nuclear weapons work at Los  Alamos,
       and  had  spent September of 1952 in Korea during the Korean
       War and in Japan for the United States Air Force,  this  was
       my first real contact with the explicit interaction of high-
       level  scientists with the U.S. government, in attempting to
       influence technical programs and policy.  I learned  a  lot,
       such as the Zacharias injunction "Don't get it right, get it
       written"  which  is  good advice for running a collaborative
       program, since the odds of getting it right the  first  time
       are  very  small, and what is needed is a dynamic of getting
       it "written" and then improved by further writings.

       But there were some other lessons that did not sit so  well.
       Zacharias  also  observed  "If I don't get the answer I want
       from this group, I  will  try  again  with  another",  which
       seemed to me to conflict with Fermi's caution to avoid delu-
       sion (self or otherwise) by reporting all the data up to the
       stopping point of the experiment.  Furthermore, while it was
       good  technical  fun  reviewing technology and inventing new
       systems to detect and counter nuclear-armed Soviet  bombers,
       it  was  perfectly clear that by the time we could have such
       expanded defenses, the threat would be Soviet nuclear  weap-
       ons on ballistic missiles of intercontinental range-- ICBMs.

       It was about this time that I became familiar with the tend-
       ency of bureaucracies to emphasize those aspects of a report
       or proposal that benefit them, rather than taking a balanced
       view.   Thus, there was never serious consideration given to
       a deterrent threat of nuclear response from  the  U.S.  that
       would  depend  upon  one-way  bomber missions, although that
       would surely have been easier to accomplish,  more  afforda-
       ble,  and  in  my opinion just as believable as one that de-
       pended upon the fiction that bombers would  be  refueled  in
       the air and returned to their bases in the United States af-
       ter  nuclear  strikes  against the Soviet Union.  Of course,
       this led the United States also to ignore the  threat  posed
       by "enemy" bombers that could reach the U.S. only on one-way

       On  October  4,  1957,  the United States and the world were
       shocked by Soviet launch of the first artificial earth  sat-
       ellite, Sputnik, although a substantial amount of detail had
       been  published  by  the Soviet Union.  This gave impetus to
       various activities in the United States,  ranging  from  the
       National  Defense  Education  Act,  to the reform of science
       teaching in the public schools, to the acceleration of  U.S.
       programs for ballistic missiles and defenses against nuclear
       weapons,  to  additional studies of the magnitude of the nu-
       clear threat to the United States and  to  its  allies,  and
       also to programs to expand our knowledge of such potentially
       threatening activities.

       As a result, I was recruited to various panels of the Presi-
       dent's Science Advisory Committee, which as a consequence of
       Sputnik  was brought by President Eisenhower "into the White
       House" from the Office of Defense  Mobilization.    My  col-
       league  at  Columbia University and lunchtime partner at the
       Columbia Faculty Club table of Physics and Mathematics,  the
       renowned  Professor I.I. Rabi, chaired the PSAC, but did not
       want to move to Washington for what was clearly going to  be
       a  full-time  job at a critical time.  Accordingly, James R.
       Killian of MIT chaired the  reborn  PSAC,  which  enjoyed  a
       frank  and  close working relationship with President Dwight
       D. Eisenhower.

       I was involved on the Strategic Military Panel of PSAC,  was
       a  member  of  the  U.S.  delegation to the U.N.-hosted Ten-
       Nation Conference on Prevention of  Surprise  Attack,  which
       met  in  Geneva  during  the fall of 1958, and sat in on the
       early negotiations on a ban of nuclear tests.  I was also  a
       member  of  and  eventually  chaired PSAC panels on military
       aircraft, transportation, naval warfare, antisubmarine  war-
       fare,  and the like, and participated for almost 15 years in
       a panel chaired  by  Edwin  H.  Land,  the  founder  of  the
       Polaroid  Corporation, largely dealing with photography from
       aircraft and satellites.

       Altogether I had two 4-year terms on PSAC, in  the  Kennedy-
       Johnson Administrations and in the Nixon Administration, but
       our  concern  extended far beyond national defense, interna-
       tional security, arms control agreements and the like.   For
       instance,  I  recall  distributing to the 18 members of PSAC
       one day copies of the Rachel Carson  articles  in  the  New
       Yorker,  which  led  to  the  creation  of  a  PSAC Panel on
       Insecticides and Pesticides, ably chaired by John Tukey, the
       statistician from Bell Labs and Princeton  University.    We
       were  concerned also with public and graduate education, and
       my military aircraft panel spread its wings  to  become  the
       Aircraft  Panel  and  eventually to study the transportation
       problems and opportunities of "the Northeast corridor."    I
       also  served for a year on The New Technologies Panel of The
       National Commission on Health Manpower in  1969  or  so,  so
       many of the concerns of 1993 have a familiar ring.

       I close this selected list by noting my service on the Advi-
       sory  Committee of the Federal Energy Management Agency, one
       of the predecessors of the current Department of Energy.  At
       the time of the first "oil shock" in 1973, it was  perfectly
       clear  that  there  were  many things that the United States
       could and should do to respond.  In fact, years before I had
       argued in PSAC that we ought to reduce the potential  market
       power  of  foreign  oil  producers by spending the couple of
       billion dollars that would be required to install "gathering
       pipelines" from  additional  wells  drilled  in  the  United
       States,  which  would  then  be closed off except in time of
       need.  This in-ground resource available to produce  at  any
       time  would greatly limit the potential for crises of supply
       or price.  Needless to say, this idea got nowhere.

       The Congress has thus far been absent from  this  narrative,
       as  it  was in large part from involvement in the details of
       national defense or international security  questions  until
       the  great  ABM  debate of 1967 and later years.  Up to that
       time, congressional testimony regarding military procurement
       programs and weapons in general was essentially  limited  to
       active-duty military officers and officials representing the
       current  Administration, but it became clear that the scien-
       tists who had built nuclear weapons and radar  during  World
       War  II  could  not be written off as ignorant about current
       topics, and they were invited to testify.   This was  a  sea
       change  for  the United States, and, indeed, no other nation
       has had the open and scholarly discussion with Congress  and
       the public in such matters as has this country.

       In  part,  this  is due to the relatively greater freedom of
       access to information resulting from the  large  network  of
       consultants  and  advisors  to government, itself probably a
       result of the transformation of the U.S.  scientific  commu-
       nity  during World War II into a mechanism for bringing sci-
       ence and technology to the service of the nation in fighting
       that war.  But until very recently, the U.S. was essentially
       alone in the post-war period in  having  independent  scien-
       tists  who  were  at  the same time highly knowledgeable and
       even involved in government programs for national or  inter-
       national  security.  In France, for instance, non-government
       scientists were for the most part unsympathetic as  well  as
       ignorant  of  government programs, and this has changed only
       recently, and outside overview is still not comparable  with
       that  in  the United States.  However, this very involvement
       of outsiders is often seen to pose a conflict  of  interest,
       and  it  does  present  ethical  problems,  which I will now
       finally discuss.


       You might suspect that forty  years  of  active  involvement
       would  leave me with a good many examples of ethical and un-
       ethical behavior, some of them amusing, some just plain dis-
       gusting, but, in any case, too many for me to go through  in

       By  what  standard  are  we  to judge behavior?   Not solely
       through the glass of religion, although  most  religions  do
       have  a  strong  ethical  component; nevertheless, religious
       fervor has been responsible for a  substantial  fraction  of
       bloodshed on this planet.  I tend to judge behavior in terms
       of  an  extended Golden Rule-- a simple form of which is not
       to do unto others what you would not like them  to  do  unto
       you.  This seems to me somewhat more feasible than the posi-
       tive  formulation, "do unto others that which you would like
       them to do unto you," but we don't have time here to go into

       It seems to me that in simple societies  of  relatively  few
       people  such a rule was quite satisfactory as a prescription
       and standard for behavior, but as people became more  numer-
       ous,  society  more  complex, and a body of law and practice
       grew up around the Golden Rule,  law  took  precedence  over
       ethics  as  a  standard for conduct.  Indeed, public figures
       have been prosecuted, convicted, and assessed  token  penal-
       ties such as $1, a process understandably followed by a vic-
       tory celebration by the culprit and his supporters.

       But  the  law  tends to evolve as well, from the standard of
       injury of an individual by an individual, for which one  can
       prescribe  but  not  always  sympathize with a simple remedy
       ("...a tooth for a tooth...") to more complex situations  in
       which, for example, several or many individuals might be in-
       volved to intentionally injure someone.  To prevent and con-
       trol  such  behavior,  conspiracy  law  evolved, so that the
       performance of an act that would not  normally  be  criminal
       becomes so when it is part of a larger scheme.

       Knowingly  receiving  stolen goods is analogous to playing a
       part in a conspiracy.

       In a different dimension, one is concerned with  the  slight
       magnitude  or  probability of injury done to each of a large
       population by one individual-- the basis  for  environmental
       law.   Even in cases in which the injury is statistical, one
       is concerned with the overall  mathematical  expectation  of
       harm  or loss to the population from the actions of an indi-
       vidual, and although  there  is  dispute  over  the  precise
       standard  that  should be set, there is hardly any disagree-
       ment with the proposition that acts are improper which  will
       result  in  greater total harm than the benefit to the indi-
       vidual actor.

       A moment's reflection will show that this is not an adequate
       standard,  since even a "zero-sum action" is clearly forbid-
       den in many cases.   For instance, if I  should  steal  from
       someone without the likelihood of imposing bodily harm, even
       this is unacceptable to society, although one might not nec-
       essarily  believe  so  given the minor penalties imposed for
       white collar crime.  A surprisingly large  fraction  of  the
       population, in my experience, clearly sees little wrong with
       stealing  from  an  unidentifiable  set of people, as is the
       case with thefts that are covered by insurance, cheating  on
       income  tax,  or  the like.   Here the burden is born by the
       overall mass of insured, or the entire nation.

       Economists tend to regard such  activities  as  a  "transfer
       payment"  without  economic  significance.    So, then, is a
       holdup on the street.

       The practitioners of "the dismal science"  of  economics  do
       have  a judgement about activities that are economically in-
       efficient, such as the theft of artistic objects  formed  of
       precious  metals,  which is then sold as ingot.  The benefit
       to the thief is in this case far less than the loss  to  the
       initial  owner, and society as a whole is poorer as a result
       of this action.  Nevertheless, even in a positive-sum trans-
       action, unless the losers are in some sense  willing,  there
       is no presumption that this is ethical.

       For  instance, it is illegal in the United States to discard
       a hand grenade.  Very likely, it would be picked up by  some
       child  or other, and would have a high likelihood of killing
       or maiming at least one person.  But until 1970 it  was  not
       in  any  way illegal to drive an automobile that produced an
       average of 100  grams  of  carbon  monoxide  (CO)  per  mile
       driven.    In  small concentrations, CO binds tightly to the
       hemoglobin in red blood cells, each molecule of CO  substan-
       tially  eliminating  the capacity of the blood to carry four
       molecules of oxygen, and the binding is so tight that the CO
       is not liberated, typically, for some hours.  Except in  en-
       closed  spaces, CO was not a problem for the general public.
       Nevertheless, any harm that might be caused to  the  general
       public  is proportional to the number of people exposed at a
       given level of CO, and the harm from a given  amount  of  CO
       (all other things being equal) to a population of 10 million
       would be 10 times as much as to a population of one million.
       But  if automobile use grew with the population, there would
       be 10 times as much CO, so the overall  harm  100  times  as
       large; and if the automobile population grew with population
       but  usage  expanded,  the harm would be even greater, hence
       the impetus for the Clean Air Amendments of 1970 controlling
       CO, hydrocarbon emissions, and oxides of nitrogen from auto-
       mobile exhaust.(1)

       Thus  increasing  population,  increasingly complex society,
       and the evolution of law and regulation have  expanded  eth-
       ical concerns and judgements from the simple Golden Rule re-
       lating  individual conduct to individual harm or benefit; to
       the conspiracy concern of harm to one individual by the acts
       of many; to the environmental concern of harm to the many by
       the act of one; to the  expanded  environmental  concern  in
       which  the conduct of each of us must be regulated in such a
       way that if all behaved within the regulations  there  would
       not result intolerable harm to the population.

       Indeed,  economics  is of some help.  We need no law against
       each of us eating lobster in unlimited amounts, although  if
       we  did  so  there would surely not be enough for all of us,
       and the lobsters would likely be imperiled  or  even  elimi-
       nated.    Access  to  lobsters (or excess of lobster) is ra-
       tioned by price, so that most  people,  most  of  the  time,
       content themselves with eating something else.  Furthermore,
       there  is  not a lot of waste of lobster, either, because it
       can be sold for valuable consideration  which  can  then  be
       used  to  buy something else.  In similar fashion, there has
       been reached in recent years rather uneasy agreement in  the
       United  States  on  rationing of pollution.  Rather than re-
       quiring each person to remain within an emission level which
       if committed by everyone would harm no  one,  an  individual
       for  the  most part is allowed to pollute more, but they may
       be charged a fee which is set in one of two  ways.    A  fee
       could  be  set  at such a level that the anticipated overall
       generation of  pollutant  would  not  exceed  the  tolerable
       level;  alternatively,  it could be set so that enough money
       is collected to mitigate the damage or at least  to  compen-
       sate those injured by pollution.

       Some  would  say  that the important aspect of the fee is to
       compensate society as a whole for the damaging act, and that
       it is of lesser import that the funds actually  get  to  the
       specific people who are injured.

       One  might  characterize these extensions of the Golden Rule

       o   GR-1-- Damage by an individual to another individual.

       o   GR-2-- Damage to an individual by a group (conspiracy).

       o   GR-3-- Damage to a group by an individual (environmental

       o   GR-4-- Damage to a group by a group via the  environment
           (extended environmental concern).

       o   GR-5-- Irrational consequences or the power of example.

       I  have  added  a  fifth aspect according to which one might
       judge conduct, and that is the impact  of  example,  or  the
       possibility  of unjustified consequences.  I use this to re-
       fer to conduct that  is  socially  desirable,  ethical,  but
       which may either be misunderstood, or if committed by others
       may result in harm, or which could provoke unintentional and
       unjustified  damage.   I will have one example in this cate-


       Since 1950 or  thereabouts,  I  have  had  three  principal,
       interlinked goals:  The prevention of nuclear war, the limi-
       tation  of world population and the preservation of an envi-
       ronment suitable for people, and  the  preservation  in  the
       United States of a system of government that would allow the
       preservation  of  "life,  liberty, and the pursuit of happi-

       THE ETHICS OF NUCLEAR DETERRENCE. A discussion of this ques-
       tion would fill many books, without resolving  the  problem.
       Because  a  single  nuclear  weapon targeted on a city would
       kill a good fraction of a million people, it  has  not  been
       possible to find an effective direct defense against nuclear
       weapons,  and  so  the  United States (and the Soviet Union)
       have relied on deterrence -- the promise of nuclear retali-
       ation in case of nuclear attack.  Nuclear deterrence has not
       failed,  but  we  do not know whether it was ever necessary.
       As I have discussed previously(2) I believe that nuclear de-
       terrence  is allowable and desirable in the case of an indi-
       vidual or a true emperor, and that it may be  desirable  and
       acceptable  to  deter  a  democratic  society,  although the
       "rights of the minority" are hardly protected if the  major-
       ity  initiates  nuclear  war, and both majority and minority
       die in the ensuing retaliation.   Paradoxically,  deterrence
       is  hardly  justifiable ethically against a country in which
       almost all those who would suffer  in  retaliation  have  no
       power  to  prevent  a  nuclear  strike.    Yet if deterrence
       "works" and may even prevent large-scale  conventional  wars
       in  which  many of those people might have lost their lives,
       it seems justifiable as an interim measure.  In any case,  I
       have  judged this question to be beyond resolution by myself
       alone, and have assumed the obligation (together  with  many
       of  my  colleagues)  of  bringing  the  question  of nuclear
       weaponry to the attention of the Congress and the broad pub-
       lic in the United States and in the world.  I have advocated
       and worked for the limitation of nuclear weapons to the  de-
       terrent  role, judging proposals for the military use of nu-
       clear weapons thus far to be  destabilizing  and  likely  to
       lead to  nuclear war.   I emphasize that this judgment is a
       conclusion, based on case-by-case analysis, and not a preju-
       dice.   I have tried to make  the  options  for  the  United
       States  explicit  to various Administrations and to the Con-
       gress, and to the general public.   I have  argued  for  re-
       straint   and  responsibility,  and  for  a  long  time  for
       regarding nuclear weapons as a kind of universal trust, pro-
       posing reductions over only a few years to a level of 1000--
       just a few percent of the maximum holdings of  the  U.S.  or
       the Soviet Union.  The good news is that this is now largely
       agreed;  the  bad news is that the dissolution of the Soviet
       Union, leaving Russia as the nuclear heir has still not  re-
       sulted  in  the retrieval of strategic nuclear warheads from
       the three nations, Belarus,  Kazakhstan,  and  Ukraine,  all
       former republics of the USSR.

       As for the ethics of scientists creating weapons about which
       irresponsible  judgments may be made by the broader society,
       I have taken the position that it is the  responsibility  of
       this  broader  society  to  decide,  and mine to create such
       weapons but also explicitly to  point  out  their  problems,
       hazards, and the questions to be resolved.

       I may be wrong.

       BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU. In September 1967, then Sec-
       retary  of  Defense  Robert S. McNamara  gave  a  thoughtful
       speech in San Francisco explaining why a system  to  protect
       the  United States against nuclear-armed ICBMs or submarine-
       launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs)  would  be  ineffective,
       provocative,  and  undesirable;  however  the last 5% of the
       speech  announced  that  the  administration  of   President
       Lyndon B. Johnson  had  decided  to  deploy  such  a  system
       against  a  potential  Chinese  ICBM  threat,   that   could
       eventuate  within  weeks or months.   Without rehearsing the
       entire dispute, I just note here  that  the  PSAC  Strategic
       Military  Panel  had for more than decade been studying such
       questions, and both the "Chinese" threat and the need for an
       ABM system were unjustified.  Indeed, the flight test of the
       Chinese ICBM occurred more like 15 years later than the cou-
       ple  of  months  that was implied in the speech.  Since 1968
       was an election year,  knowledgeable  people  in  Washington
       called  this an "Anti-Republican Missile System" rather than
       Anti-Chinese or Anti-Soviet, and I suspect they were  right.
       However,  scientists  involved  as  advisors to the Adminis-
       tration faced an ethical dilemma.  Their knowledge about the
       particulars of ABM systems and the potential threat  derived
       from  access  provided in the course of soliciting their ad-
       vice, although many had been involved through several Admin-
       istrations, Republican and Democrat.

       Jerome B. Wiesner,    Science    Advisor    to     President
       John F. Kennedy,  and  a  Consultant at Large to PSAC during
       the Nixon Administration  that  took  office  January  1969,
       asked   specifically   of  Nixon's  first  Science  Advisor,
       Lee DuBridge whether he should resign from PSAC, in view  of
       his  decision  to testify against the Nixon ABM program, an-
       nounced February 1969, which would  deploy  essentially  the
       same  technology  as  that announced by the Johnson Adminis-
       tration, but this time to protect the U.S.  ICBM  fields  in
       order to preserve our capability to retaliate against Soviet
       nuclear attack!  DuBridge asked President Nixon specifically
       and  told  Dr.  Wiesner that the President favored open dis-
       cussion of the matter.  When President Nixon took office for
       his second term in 1973, one of his first acts was to  abol-
       ish  PSAC  and the Office of Science and Technology, suppos-
       edly "to save money."   But many commentators  thought  that
       the opposition of scientists to the Nixon ABM Program and to
       the  Nixon-favored  commercial  supersonic transport was the
       real reason.

       In any case, Professor Hans A. Bethe and I participated in a
       December 1967 New York meeting of the  American  Association
       for   the   Advancement  of  Science  (AAAS),  organized  by
       Gerard Piel, publisher of The Scientific American,  along
       with  Marvin L. Goldberger.  Mr. Piel moved heaven and Earth
       (and almost broke our  arms  by  twisting)  until  Professor
       Bethe and I  agreed  to provide a paper for The Scientific
       American addressing the question of the ABM  System.    This
       appeared in Scientific American of March 1968, and I recall
       leaving from Dulles airport for  Europe  the  afternoon  the
       magazine went on the stands.  Although we had obtained a se-
       curity  review  and  had followed the few comments that were
       made, it was perfectly clear  that  the  Administration  was
       politically  opposed to  the  publication  of this article,
       which helped to mobilize the scientific and technical commu-
       nity against the ABM System.   A considerable number  of  us
       who  had  been and were then involved in PSAC and Department
       of Defense panels were invited to testify  independently  to
       the relevant congressional committees which had responsibil-
       ity  for  these matters (the Armed Services Committee of the
       House and of the Senate, and the Foreign  Relations  Commit-
       tee).    Eventually  some  $10 B was spent to deploy the so-
       called Safeguard system, the telling blow struck in favor of
       it in 1972 being a telegram from Moscow by the negotiator of
       the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT-I),  Gerard
       Smith,  that  if  the Congress did not provide authorization
       and appropriate funds for Safeguard,  the  U.S.  negotiating
       posture  would be undercut.  Mr. Smith never again supported
       this position.

       As for Hans Bethe and myself, my own conscience  was  clear.
       We  revealed no information about the proposed ABM System or
       the threat that was not generally available.   We did  bring
       to this the expertise for which we were hired by various Ad-
       ministrations,  and  which had been honed over many years of
       working on problems of interest to government and industry.

       When one hires an expert lawyer, it is not with the  proviso
       that the individual will never again work for somebody else,
       exercising  the  same skills.  The deal is that the informa-
       tion provided in confidence to the expert remains in  confi-
       dence, and no one has argued that we had revealed privileged
       information.    The  other half of the advisory deal is that
       the advice proffered is the property of the person being ad-
       vised.  The advisor can advice someone else in the same way,
       or even the general public, but the fact that the advice was
       given and taken or not taken does not belong to the advisor.

       I felt that I had not only the right but the  responsibility
       to provide expert opinion to the Congress, which, after all,
       in  our  system  of government is a branch co-equal with the
       executive.  The inferior status of  Congress  in  access  to
       technical  information and advice was soon to be remedied in
       part by the creation of the Office of Technology  Assessment
       and  the  expansion  of technical competence in the Congres-
       sional staffs, which stem from that  same  era.    In  fact,
       given  the reluctance of Presidents to have independent sci-
       entific advice in the White House, in recent times, the Con-
       gress has had access to better independent advice  than  has
       the White House.

       Had I known for sure that the Scientific American ABM paper
       would result in the demise of PSAC, would I have still  pub-
       lished  it?    Yes.   But had I known for sure that the non-
       publication of the ABM paper  would  have  resulted  in  the
       preservation of PSAC, would I have published?

       That  is  a  trick phrasing of the question, because I would
       have redoubled my efforts to inform Congress and the public,
       and the question as phrased would guarantee that if  we  had
       published  instead  in  Foreign Affairs, for instance, PSAC
       would have been preserved!

       THE SST PRESSURE. In 1965 the PSAC Military  Aircraft  Panel
       reviewed  in a cursory fashion for President Johnson the po-
       tential military uses  of  a  Mach-3  commercial  supersonic
       transport  (SST).   We found that the technology already ex-
       isted  in  the supersecret SR-71 aircraft, and that the flow
       of technology would be from the military to the SST and  not
       the  other  way around.   We also found no specific military
       use of the SST itself, presumably a  disappointment  to  the
       President,  who,  like  most  presidents,  was a fan of U.S.

       In 1969 President Nixon asked various agencies of  the  U.S.
       government,  including the Office of Science and Technology,
       to help form a decision as to further USG funding of the SST
       program, with  the  aircraft  under  development  by  Boeing
       (airframe)  and  General Electric (engines).  I led a 6 week
       study by a small team including Brig. Gen. Jack C.  Ledford,
       the officer who had been in charge of the development of the
       SR-71.    My panel provided a written report March 30, 1969,
       recommending termination of the USG involvement with the SST

       This was not the answer President Nixon wanted.

       However, we never received any indication that the President
       had read the report.  The head of the OST, Dr. Lee DuBridge,
       who was also the President's Science Advisor, had  announced
       the  creation of the OST SST Review Panel and had even prom-
       ised to try to share the contents with the press.    Imagine
       the  outcry when the Panel's report disappeared into a black

       I was immediately invited by the relevant Congressional com-
       mittees to testify on the SST program, as a person well  ac-
       quainted  with  aircraft  and  transportation  issues, but I
       respectfully declined.  Only the next year, after the admin-
       istration had given thoroughly misleading testimony,  did  I
       accept  the  invitation, and I testified in no way about the
       OST report but only provided an analysis based on  materials
       already in possession of the Congressional Committees.

       The U.S. airlines had been encouraged by the U.S. Department
       of  Transportation to show their enthusiasm for the SST pro-
       gram by investing in it (in the form of non-refundable  con-
       tributions--  later  refunded!),  and  I  was  therefore not
       astonished, although dismayed, to have the Chairman  of  the
       Board of IBM tell me that his friends who were heading vari-
       ous  U.S.   airlines had complained to him that I was inter-
       fering  with   the   important   SST   program   by   giving
       Congressional  testimony  and  writing papers on the subject
       when I was not qualified to do so.  I explained that  I  was
       indeed  an  expert in view of my contact over the years with
       the program and other supersonic aircraft programs, and that
       if IBM felt that they were not overall receiving  value  for
       the  money  they were paying me to do research and invention
       and to give IBM advice, then I would go  elsewhere;  but  in
       any  case I would continue to try to help the administration
       and the  Congress  to  understand the various programs that
       were or might be funded by the government.   This seemed  an
       effective  response,  because  such  attempted  pressure was
       never again transmitted to me through IBM.

       LESSONS TO BE LEARNED. From  myths  of  space  technology(3)
       some  of  which  I  will discuss in my meetings with smaller
       groups here, we may draw some conclusions  of  more  general
       interest.   I say "lessons to be learned," because they have
       not already been learned.  The first lesson is that we pay a
       very high price to maintain these myths, far beyond the cost
       of the particular program.

       The second lesson is that there is  a  continued,  important
       role  for  scientists.    Neither the Challenger disaster of
       January 1986, nor the Chernobyl disaster of April  1986  re-
       quired deep scientific insight to observe that something had
       gone wrong.   But in both cases, the hazards existed before
       the disaster, and was reasonably  accessible  to  scientific
       inquiry.    In both cases, in my opinion, the entrenched bu-
       reaucracy prevented the voices of scientists and other know-
       ledgeable critics from being heard, although the problem  of
       cost-ineffectiveness  of  the space shuttle program, and the
       hazard of suppressing the evolution and  continued  procure-
       ment  of  expendable  boosters was far simpler to state than
       was the task of analyzing the hazard of the  combined  phys-
       ical   and  management  deficiencies  in  the  case  of  the
       Chernobyl-type power reactors in the Soviet Union.    Scien-
       tists should vigorously report the truth, and this should be
       welcomed by their colleagues and by society.  Even a program
       that is "merely wasteful" is denying wealth to people and is
       damaging the ability to make proper decisions.

       Returning  to  the  arms race, we note that in many cases it
       takes participation of both sides to become a real hazard,
       as  can be seen in interpersonal relations.  As small a mat-
       ter as inadequate calibration or judgment of the  effort  on
       the other side (or "worst-case analysis") can over the years
       and  successive  budget  cycles result in a threatening arms
       race.  This might be avoided if one side  is  vastly  richer
       than  the  other and can afford much "greater" security, but
       if both sides are comparable and look to  compensate  "capa-
       bilities"  and  not  intentions  on the other side, one will
       eventually see, on both sides, vast  military  machines  for
       which  there is no rational reason, which will therefore in-
       spire fear and instability on the other side.

       We have in these myths the danger of jargon and of rhetoric.
       Many  honest,  loyal people are involved in the continuation
       of these programs.  In the modern world  of  persuasion  and
       advertising,  they  are  asked  to turn their talents to the
       support of the program of their organizations, and  they  do
       this  very  well-- with public relations and lawyerly skills
       that must be admired, but with results that  can  be  disas-
       trous.    In the SDI program, we now see that the promise of
       President Reagan to "share the technology" of strategic  de-
       fense  with the Soviet Union has officially become a commit-
       ment "to share  the  fruits  of  technology."    As  I  have
       commented,(4) "sharing the fruits of technology" can be  un-
       derstood  as  the  mutual  occupation of a peaceful world in
       which one side has nothing to fear from the nuclear  weapons
       of  the other side, because of an impenetrable shield, while
       the other side (with useless nuclear weapons) has nothing to
       fear because the protected side has no "reason  to  attack."
       More  simply, in feudal days, both lord and serf "shared the
       fruits of the wealth" of the lord.   The lord did  this  di-
       rectly, and the serf lived whatever kind of life was optimum
       as  directed by the leadership of society.  Human beings owe
       their society honesty and candor, and they  should  be  very
       cautious  before  using their talents to deceive or mislead,
       especially in the service of a program of  their  government
       or society.

       The code of honor of the United States Military Academy for-
       bids  not  only lying but also "quibbling," which is the use
       of words in such a way  that  they  give  a  misleading  im-
       pression  of assurance, threat, etc.  If we all perceive the
       reality, then we can all turn  our  attention  to  improving
       this  world.   At present, the myths of space technology in-
       hibit our putting an end to the extension of the  arms  race
       into  space, and they deny modern societies the full produc-
       tive civil and military (non-weapon) uses of space.


       The "public trust" to which reference is  commonly  made  in
       government  is essential to the future of our democratic so-
       ciety, and we should hold our officials, government  employ-
       ees, and contractors to that standard if we are to enjoy the
       tranquility  and  prosperity that was not only the dream but
       within the grasp of the founders of our country in the  18th

       1   The Clean Air Amendments of 1970 set limits effective in
           1976 of 0.41, 3.4, and 0.40 g/mi of hydrocarbons, carbon
           monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen, respectively.  In  the
           vast  literature  on  this  subject,  these entities are
           written "HC, CO, and NOx".
       2   "Reducing Dependence on Nuclear Weapons:   A Second  Nu-
           clear  Regime,"  in the 1980s Project/Council on Foreign
           Relations' book, Nuclear Weapons and World Politics.
           Publisher: McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1977.
       3   "Space Technology: Myth  and  Promise"  by  R.L. Garwin,
           published in the book Ways Out of the Arms Race, edited
           by J. Hassard, T. Kibble and P. Lewis.   Proceedings  of
           the  Second  International  Scientists' Congress held at
           Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, Uni-
           versity of London, 2-4 December 1988.
       4   Symposium on "New Defense Technologies and the Strategic
           Balance,"  Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas,
           September 1986.