The Federation will spotlight filmmaker Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer, Senators Schumer and Young for passage of the bipartisan CHIPS & Science Act, and other established and emerging science policy leaders.
The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) today announced they will host their awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 15th – reviving a decades-long tradition that first started in 1971. This year, honorees include filmmaker Christopher Nolan for his cinematic portrait of scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Todd Young (R-IN) for their work in Congress making the CHIPS & Science Act a reality.
“Nolan’s film depicts the scientists who formed FAS in the fall of 1945 as the ‘Federation of Atomic Scientists’ to communicate the dangers of nuclear weapons to the public. We continue to pursue their vision of a safer world, especially as current events remind us that those dangers are real and resurgent,” FAS CEO Daniel Correa said. “FAS also believes that science, technology, and innovation have vast potential to solve the biggest challenges of our time. To that end, we’re also recognizing Senators Schumer and Young, because the CHIPS & Science Act represents an historic investment in this country’s future. It is an honor to present these awards to director Nolan and Senators Schumer and Young.”
FAS will also honor former OSTP acting director Dr. Alondra Nelson, for her leadership on both A.I. regulation and advancing equity in STEM fields, and Alexa White, who will receive FAS’ first ever “Policy Entrepreneurship” award – aimed at honoring an emerging leader in the world of science policy.
The FAS Public Service Awards honors the contributions of a diverse group of scientists, policymakers, and tastemakers in pursuit of advancements in science and technology. Previous winners of the award include: Senators Ted Kennedy, Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar and Secretaries Henry Kissinger, George Schultz and William Perry, and author Carl Sagan, editor Ruth Adams, and activist Sally Lillenthal.
The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) works to advance progress on a broad suite of contemporary issues where science, technology, and innovation policy can deliver dramatic progress, and seeks to ensure that scientific and technical expertise have a seat at the policymaking table. Established in 1945 by scientists in response to the atomic bomb, FAS continues to work on behalf of a safer, more equitable, and more peaceful world. More information at fas.org.
The Federation of American Scientists is excited to welcome Jon B. Wolfsthal as the organization’s new Director of Global Risk. The Global Risk will encompass nuclear policy, FAS’ longstanding Nuclear Information Project, along with other emerging global threats.
“We could not be more thrilled to be bringing on a leader with Jon’s dedication, knowledge and experience,” FAS CEO Dan Correa said. “We take FAS’ legacy of leadership in nuclear policy and transparency extremely seriously, especially at a time when the threat to the world seems to be resurgent. Our Nuclear Information Project continues to be a globally-renowned source of information on nuclear weapons for both world governments and the public, and Jon will help take the work even further. His track record as a leading thinker on global threats will also help FAS tackle emerging policy challenges as well.”
Hans Kristensen, Director of FAS’ Nuclear Information Project, added, “I have long admired Jon’s insights and intellect when it comes to nuclear policy and arms control. His resume speaks for itself – we can’t wait to start working with him at FAS.”
Jon B. Wolfsthal most recently served as a senior adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security in the Transatlantic Security Program. He is also a member of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and a member of the US Department of State’s International Security Advisory Board. He served previously as senior advisor to Global Zero in Washington, DC.
Before 2017, Mr. Wolfsthal served as Special Assistant to President of the United States Barack Obama for National Security Affairs and is a former senior director at the National Security Council for arms control and nonproliferation. He also served from 2009-2012 as Special Advisor to Vice President Joseph R. Biden for nuclear security and nonproliferation and as a director for nonproliferation on the National Security Council.
During his government service, Mr. Wolfsthal has been involved in almost every aspect of U.S. nuclear weapons, deterrence, arms control, nonproliferation policy. He helped negotiate and secure the ratification of the New START arms reduction agreement with the Russian Federation, helped develop nuclear policy including through the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review. He has worked on efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear materials, helped guide U.S. nuclear weapons targeting and deterrent policies, and supported efforts to prevent the acquisition and use of nuclear weapons by North Korea and Iran. He also served as a career civil servant at the U.S. Department of Energy from 1995-1999 in a variety of capacities, including the on-site nuclear monitor at Yongbyon, North Korea during 1995-96.
Aside from his government work, Wolfsthal has served as Deputy Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterey. He has also been a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and was deputy director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
With Joseph Cirincione, he is the author of Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction and a leading authority on nuclear weapons policy, regional proliferation, arms control and nuclear deterrence. He is author of the Trillion Dollar Nuclear Triad, and the editor of the Nuclear Status Report. He is the author of dozens of scholarly articles, reports and scores of op-eds and published thought pieces, and has appeared on or been quoted in most leading domestic and international news media outlets (New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, CNN, NPR. BBC, CBC, VOA, etc).
Wolfsthal officially joins FAS in October 2023.
FROs focus efforts on technology challenges that require coordinated and cross-disciplinary pursuits at the boundary of research and engineering
The Federation of American Scientists (FAS), one of the oldest science think tanks in Washington, and Metaculus, a forecasting and modeling platform, today announced the opening of the ‘FRO-casting’ tournament to test a new approach for evaluating scientific proposals.
This pilot program applies an expected value the forecasting methodology developed by FAS and Metaculus to proposals for Focused Research Organizations (FROs) in the life sciences, sourced by Convergent Research. FROs are envisioned as standalone, time-limited non-profit organizations organized like a startup to solve well-defined technical challenges that are neither profitable nor publishable. Their goal is to produce vital public goods: processes, tools, and datasets that are actively translated into use by others, to enable new methods and accelerate the pace of scientific research.
This is a public tournament in which forecasts will be produced by the Metaculus community and subject-matter experts identified by FAS.
The ‘FRO-casting’ challenge is open to subject matter experts, scientists, forecasters, decision makers, and the public. It is free to participate.
This effort aims to provide (a) quantitative assessments of the risk-reward profile of each FRO proposal that can inform agency decision-making, (b) actionable insight to proposal authors regarding their approach, and (c) new metascientific understanding of forecasting in scientific review.
“It is difficult to balance science agencies’ dual mission of protecting government funding from being spent on overly risky investments while also being ambitious in funding proposals that will push the frontiers of science,” writes FAS Senior Associate Alice Wu, “We at FAS are exploring innovative approaches to peer review to help tackle this challenge.” Ms. Wu is one of the leaders of this challenge, along with FAS colleague Jordan Dworkin, Metascience Program Lead.
The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) is excited to announce that John Bailey has joined the organization’s board of directors.
John’s background includes roles in government, philanthropic institutions, and venture capital, where he has focused on critical issues including innovation policy, artificial intelligence, immigration, behavioral health, climate technology, and the future of work.
He currently serves as a fellow at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and a non-resident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He served as a domestic policy advisor in the Bush White House, and the nation’s second Director of Educational Technology in the U.S. Department of Education. As Deputy Policy Director to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, he contributed to the development of the first National Pandemic Strategy and the President’s immigration reform package.
“John’s wisdom and wide range of experience across government and the private sector will be invaluable to FAS as we continue the work of making sure the best science leads to sound public policy,” FAS CEO Dan Correa said. “We feel fortunate to have someone as respected and skilled in the world of policy innovation contributing to FAS’ mission.”
“In an era where technology and science are evolving at an unprecedented pace, it is more important than ever to have entities like FAS leading the way in formulating policies that not only support research but also guide emerging domains such as AI for the greater good.” Bailey said. “I’m excited by the work, and more importantly, the people driving FAS forward at this transformative moment. It’s one of the most exciting science policy organizations, and I look forward to being more deeply involved in advancing its larger mission.”
Bailey’s term on the FAS board began earlier this month.