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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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A-Bomb Architect Calls for Weapons Freeze
16 May 1997 (All day)
A theoretical physicist who helped lead the U.S. effort to develop the atom bomb has launched an appeal for an end to all federal funding for new nuclear weapons. In a letter to President Clinton, released yesterday by the Federation of American Scientists, Nobel laureate Hans Bethe also urged the president to declare to the world that the United States will not develop new weapons of mass destruction. "We have enough," Bethe told ScienceNOW. "We shouldn't try to find new kinds."
The 90-year-old physicist, who was the head of theoretical studies for the Manhattan Project, is worried that the U.S. government has been unclear about its policies on weapons development. As a result, he fears that it may be perceived as insincere in implementing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which has not yet been introduced in Congress. A presidential statement would reassure other countries that the United States is following "the spirit of the test ban completely," says Bethe, a professor emeritus at Cornell University. In his letter, Bethe asked Clinton "not [to] fund computation experiments or even creative thought designed to produce new categories of nuclear weapons."
Bethe's appeal is seconded by another top weapons scientist. "You can't stop people from thinking," says Herbert York, former director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, "but you can tell them you're not going to pay them for it."