06/11/2009 - 09:54

Steven Weinberg joins Bulletin Sponsors

Steven Weinberg, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 and holder of the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin, has been named to the Board of Sponsors of the Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, according to Sponsors co-chairs Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at Arizona State University, and Leon Lederman, retired director of Fermilab and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988.

Weinberg is a member of the Physics and Astronomy Department at the Austin campus. His research on elementary particles and cosmology has been honored with numerous prizes and awards, including in 1991 the National Medal of Science.

Krauss, who credits Weinberg's 1977 The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe with having had a "profound effect" on his own academic direction, said that Weinberg, who he also described as one of the world's pre-eminent theoretical physicists, is enthusiastic about the Sponsors' plan to re-energize a national discussion on the reduction of nuclear weapons stockpiles and a commitment to fight proliferation and encourage disarmament. Weinberg is the author of Glory and Terror—The Growing Nuclear Danger (2004), and has been a consultant to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

Weinberg has researched and taught at Columbia University, UC-Berkeley, M.I.T. and Harvard University, where he was the Higgins Professor of Physics before moving to the University of Texas in 1982. A member of numerous professional and scholarly boards, his writing on various topics appears occasionally in The New York Review of Books, where he recently wrote about the tension between science and religion.

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 now includes 19 Nobel laureates.

"Steve's voice and presence on our Board of Sponsors will add lucidity and penetrating insights to our assessments of current global risks," said Lederman. "He brings uncommon writing skills, commanding scientific expertise, and disciplined curiosity to every effort."