Hans A. Bethe's Letter to the Science Community
Issued 23 July 1995
Hans Bethe at the
Niels Bohr Symposium
American Academy of Arts & Sciences, November 1985
the Director of the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos, I participated
at the most senior level in the World War II Manhattan Project that
produced the first atomic weapons.
Now, at age 88, I am one of the few remaining such senior persons alive.
Looking back at the half century since that time, I feel the most intense
relief that these weapons have not been used since World War II, mixed
with the horror that tens of thousands of such weapons have been built
since that time one hundred times more than any of us at Los Alamos
could ever have imagined.
Today we are rightly in an era of disarmament and dismantlement of nuclear
weapons. But in some countries nuclear weapons development still continues.Whether
and when the various Nations of the world can agree to stop this is
uncertain. But individual scientists can still influence this process
by withholding their skills.
Accordingly, I call on all scientists in all countries to cease and
desist from work creating, developing, improving and manufacturing further
nuclear weapons and, for that matter, other weapons of potential mass
destruction such as chemical and biological weapons.
Hans A. Bethe