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Hans A. Bethe's Letter to the Science Community


Issued 23 July 1995


Hans A. Bethe
Hans Bethe at the Niels Bohr Symposium
American Academy of Arts & Sciences, November 1985

AS 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

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