Physicists, the Bomb, and U.S. Science
Policy: Pioneering Scientists and University Leaders Share Inside Story of the 20th Century

May 3, 2007

By Paul K. Mueller

When today’s scientists accept awards for their achievements, they often say with genuine humility that they merely “stand on the shoulders of giants.”

Two of those giants, Herbert York, the first chancellor of UCSD, and Marvin “Murph” Goldberger, former president of Caltech, will offer their personal recollections of the Manhattan Project, the major figures in 20th century physics, and the development of American science policy in a talk set for 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, in UC San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse Potiker Theatre.

“Physicists, the Bomb, and the Development of U.S. Science Policy – Personal Recollections,” is free and open to the public, and media coverage is welcome. A reception will follow the talk, which will be moderated by Mark Thiemens, dean of the Division of Physical Sciences at UCSD.

York, professor emeritus of physics and director emeritus and founder of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at UCSD, began his career working on the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge during World War II. He was the first director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and served as director of Defense Research and Engineering under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. He was chancellor of UCSD from 1961-64 and 1970-72. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the Comprehensive Test Ban negotiations from 1979-1981 in Geneva. In 2000, York received the prestigious Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board for his leadership in the arms-control movement and his work on nuclear energy.

Marvin L. “Murph” Goldberger, a veteran of the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago, is professor emeritus of physics at UCSD, former dean of UCSD’s Division of Natural Sciences, and served as president of Caltech from 1978-1987. He was a partner on the team that in 1959 established the Goldberger-Treiman relations, which found the quantitative connection between the strong and weak interaction properties of the proton and neutron. From 1991-95 he served as co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee for the Study of Research-Doctorate Programs in the U.S., and also served as co-chairman of the National Research Council, as director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and as a member of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation’s International Advisory Board.


Media Contacts:
Kim McDonald, 858-534-7572
Paul K. Mueller, 858-534-8564

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