Nuclear Legacies: Public Understanding and FAS

“In late 1945, a group of scientists who had been involved with the Manhattan Project felt it was their civic duty to help inform the public and political leaders of both the potential benefits and dangers of nuclear energy. To facilitate this important work, they established the Federation of Atomic Scientists, which soon became the Federation of American Scientists. Over the years, FAS has evolved into a model non-governmental organization that plays a leading role in providing scientifically-sound, non-partisan analyses of nuclear and broader security issues. I have long admired FAS and was therefore deeply honored when President Charles D. Ferguson asked if I would be interested in preparing a brief essay for a special edition of the PIR that would commemorate the organization’s 70th anniversary. A period of mild apprehension then followed: What could I say on the relationship between science and society that had not been said a thousand times before?

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