01/14/2009 - 14:07

Lawrence Krauss to co-chair Sponsors with Leon Lederman

Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at Arizona State University, will co-chair the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists with Nobel Laureate Leon Ledermen. Together they plan to re-energize a national discussion on the reduction of nuclear weapons stockpiles, and a commitment to fight proliferation and encourage disarmament efforts.

"With a new administration in Washington, it will be an unprecedented opportunity to re-examine our policy on missile defense, nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation and nuclear energy," says Krauss, who is director of a new origins initiative at Arizona State University.

"There are a number of different areas where U.S. policy has been stagnant or gone backward, and there is a tremendous need for a sensible strategy," says Krauss. "We will use the talent and reputation of the Board of Sponsors to be leading voices; to reinvigorate and raise the profile on these nuclear-related issues, so vital to our long-term peace and safety."

The role of the Sponsors, founded in 1948 by Albert Einstein and first led by J. Robert Oppenheimer, is to support the efforts of the Bulletin to amplify voices of reason and encourage rational policymaking on nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, climate change and biotechnology. The board has 44 members and includes 17 Nobel laureates.

Krauss, a professor in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences where he is a faculty member in the Physics Department and the School of Earth and Space Exploration, was named to the Board of Sponsors in 2006, along with Stephen Hawking, Lisa Randall and Brian Greene. Scientific American has described Krauss as a public intellectual. He is the author of more than 250 scientific papers. In addition to writing the best-seller, The Physics of Star Trek, Krauss has written six other books, including Fear of Physics and the science epic Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth . . . and Beyond. He also frequently writes commentary for New Scientist magazine.

"Lawrence is distinguished scientist who is well-recognized as someone who can translate complex scientific concepts into terms that the general public can understand," says Lederman. "He has an exceptional way with words, which is a good fit with the Bulletin's goal to communicate clearly with the public and policy makers about the dangers and opportunities that accompany technological advancement."

Lederman, the 1988 Nobel laureate in physics and former director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, has been chair of the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors since 2001.