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Volume 3, Number 1 February 2 - 8, 2003 Quezon City, Philippines
Laureates Sign Against a War Without International Support
By WILLIAM J. BROAD
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American Nobel laureates in science and economics issued a declaration yesterday
opposing a preventive war against Iraq without wide international support. The
statement, four sentences long, argues that an American attack would ultimately
hurt the security and standing of the United States, even if it succeeds.
signers, all men, include a number who at one time or another have advised the
federal government or played important roles in national security. Among them
are Hans A. Bethe, an architect of the atom bomb; Walter Kohn, a former adviser
to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Pentagon; Norman F.
Ramsey, a Manhattan Project scientist who readied the Hiroshima bomb and later
advised NATO; and Charles H. Townes, former research director of the Institute
for Defense Analyses at the Pentagon and chairman of a federal panel that
studied how to base the MX missile and its nuclear warheads.
addition to winning Nobel prizes, 18 of the signers have received the National
Medal of Science, the nation's highest science honor.
undersigned oppose a preventive war against Iraq without broad international
support. Military operations against Iraq may indeed lead to a relatively swift
victory in the short term. But war is characterized by surprise, human loss and
unintended consequences. Even with a victory, we believe that the medical,
economic, environmental, moral, spiritual, political and legal consequences of
an American preventive attack on Iraq would undermine, not protect, U.S.
security and standing in the world."
Kohn, a Nobel chemist at the University of California at Santa Barbara,
organized the declaration.
voice was speaking against the war," he said. "So I asked, `Can I
somehow make myself useful?' and had the idea of contacting my Nobel laureate
friends and trying to rally them around a reasonable position."
Kohn said he eventually tried to contact all American Nobel laureates in science
and economics, who are thought to number about 130. But some had died or were
unreachable, he said, while others never replied. Dr. Kohn said only six
respondents declined to sign the declaration.
said the signers included Democrats and Republicans alike.
Halloran, an aide to Dr. Kohn, said that more signatures were expected in the
next few days as laureates returned from foreign travels or caught up with their
science Nobelists have banded together to speak out, usually on topics of war
and peace, arms and technology. In July 2000, 50 Nobel laureates urged President
Bill Clinton to reject a proposed $60 billion missile defense system, arguing
that it would be wasteful and dangerous. In October 1999, 32 Nobel laureates in
physics urged the Senate to approve the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, calling
it central to halting the spread of nuclear arms.
Iraq declaration is to be circulated on Capitol Hill by Senator Dianne Feinstein
and Representative Lois Capps, both California Democrats.
signers are these, with E designating economics; P, physics; C, chemistry; and
M, medicine or physiology:
A. Akerlof E
W. Anderson P
A. Bethe P
D. Boyer C
N. Cooper P
W. Cronin P
F. Curl Jr. C
L. Fitch P
F. Furchgott M
L. Glashow P
A. Hauptman C
J. Heeger C
J. Ignarro M
R. Kandel M
Gobind Khorana M
R. Klein E
M. Lederman P
T. Lee C
N. Lipscomb C
L. McFadden E
E. Palade M
A. Penzias P
L. Perl P
D. Phillips P
F. Ramsey P
F. Sharpe E
H. Taylor Jr. P
H. Townes P
C. Tsui P
W. Wilson P
H. Zewail C
January 28, 2003
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