November 9, 2000
Media Contact: Kim
McDonald (858) 534-7572, or Ronald
Bee, Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (858)
HERBERT YORK TO RECEIVE
ENRICO FERMI AWARD
Clinton today named Herbert F. York, a nuclear physicist and the
founding chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, a
recipient of this year's Enrico Fermi Award for his efforts and
contributions in nuclear deterrence and arms control agreements.
York, who is emeritus director
of the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and
Cooperation, which he founded in 1983, will receive the award on
December 18 with two other scientists: Sidney Drell, a physicist at the
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and Sheldon Datz, a physicist at the
Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
"These scientists have
made important scientific contributions in the fields of chemistry and
physics," said President Clinton. "Their pioneering work in
the very complex area of arms control has benefited our nation and the
"Herb is the perfect
choice for this award," said Robert C. Dynes, chancellor of UCSD.
"He has devoted most of his life to assuring the responsible
stewardship of nuclear weapons in the United States and has been the
voice of reason for the last half century in the management of this
country's nuclear weapons arsenal."
"Herb York recognized that
building peace was more than controlling arms," said Peter F.
Cowhey, director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and
a professor of international relations at UCSD. "His capstone
experience at the University of California was his pioneering leadership
of the university's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. The
Institute's work brings together work on arms control, conflict
resolution, economic cooperation and environmental stewardship in an
effort to build an intellectual foundation for the 'long peace' that
Herb wished for the world."
York was the first director of
the University of California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,
science advisor to President Eisenhower, and co-founder and first chief
scientist of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. He was ambassador
and chief negotiator for the Comprehensive Test Ban Negotiations under
President Carter and has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce
international tensions through deterrence and negotiated arms control
In its citation, the White
House honored York "for his participation in the formulation,
conduct, promotion and explication of arms control policy; for his
participation in the Manhattan Project; and for his founding direction
of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and his leadership in
research and engineering at the Department of Defense. His publications
have set forth with clarity and simplicity an understanding of the
issues involved in all these actions. He has dedicated decades of his
life to the informed advocacy of sensible choices in nuclear weapon
systems and to the reduction of the nuclear threat."
The White House added that
York's influence has extended "beyond the halls of government. His
work as an educator and author introduced several generations of
Americans to the best thinking on the history, science, and politics of
nuclear weapons development and arms control. His writings are among his
most enduring contributions to society's understanding of peace and
York is the author of six
books: Arms Control (Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman,
1973); The Advisors: Oppenheimer, Teller and the Superbomb (W. H.
Freeman, 1976); Race to Oblivion: A Participant's View of the Arms Race
(Simon and Schuster, 1978); Making Weapons, Talking Peace: A Physicist's
Journey from Hiroshima to Geneva (Harper & Row, 1987); A Shield in
Space? Technology, Politics and the Strategic Defense Initiative (U. of
Calif. Press, 1988, with Sanford Lakoff); and Arms and the Physicist,
(American Physical Society, 1994).
The Enrico Fermi Award, which
was established in 1956, is the government's oldest science and
technology award. It honors the memory of Enrico Fermi, the leader of
the group of scientists who, on December 2, 1942, achieved the first
self-sustained, controlled nuclear reaction at the University of
Chicago. Among the award's first recipients were physicists John von
Neumann, Ernest O. Lawrence, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller and Robert
Secretary of Energy Bill
Richardson will present the awards to the three winners at a ceremony in
Washington, DC, on December 18. Each scientist will receive a gold medal
and a $66,000 honorarium.