By Janice Sinclaire | May 10, 2016
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is pleased to announce the creation of the complete John A. Simpson Archive, a searchable archive of the Bulletin containing every issue published since our founding in 1945. The archive is named in honor of John Alexander Simpson, a key Bulletin founder and longtime member of its Board of Sponsors.
The archive is now accessible to institutional subscribers to the Bulletin’s bi-monthly journal, published at Taylor & Francis Online. Access to the archive for individual subscribers will be available within the next few months.
An alternative archive for the years 1945-1998 remains freely available online through Google Books, but individual articles cannot be downloaded.
John Simpson was an experimental physicist who worked as a group leader on the Manhattan Project. On August 7, 1945, one day after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Simpson called a meeting of Manhattan Project scientists to discuss ways of informing the public and policy-makers about science and its implications for humanity. The Atomic Scientists of Chicago was formed in September, with Simpson as its first chairman, and within months began publishing what remains to this day the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
In 1995, Simpson alluded to the creation of theBulletin and the gravity of issues the publication has covered from the start, saying, “For the first time in modern history, scientists were saying that it was necessary to make judgments about what to do with their inventions.”
The John A. Simpson Archive expands a smaller collection of Bulletin articles published since 1998 that was digitized and made available through the generosity of Nicholas and Susan Pritzker, along with former students and colleagues of John Simpson, in 2008.
Henry Frisch, professor of physics at the University of Chicago and former member of the Bulletin's Governing Board, was instrumental in securing support for that first Simpson Collection, support that allowed the Bulletin to link its bimonthly journal with open-access content on a new website for the first time.
“John Simpson was a brilliant physicist who was keenly aware that scientists and government leaders needed to be fully accountable to the public for what they had created,” said Frisch. “I know he’d be pleased that this rich record of nuclear and scientific history bears his name.”
We at the Bulletin would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Nicholas and Susan Pritzker, Henry Frisch, Don Lamb, and the many friends of John Simpson for making this archive possible.
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