Letter | JFK warned of about confrontations
In 1945, Albert Einstein and a group of scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project started the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. That group’s Doomsday Clock is now set at 90 minutes to midnight. In October 2022, Putin warned that he would use nuclear weapons: “If Russia feels its territorial integrity is threatened, we will use all defense methods at our disposal, and this is not a bluff.”
Following the harrowing lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis, John F. Kennedy said, “Nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war.” U.S. brinksmanship in Ukraine seeks Putin’s humiliating retreat, yet somehow counts on Putin not to use nukes. Kennedy continued, “To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy — or of a collective death-wish for the world.”
For this reason I’m supporting Sean Dougherty to replace Congressman Panetta, who accepted $129,000 in military contractors contributions and voted to approve cluster munitions, banned by over 100 nations.
— Rick Longinotti, Santa Cruz
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Meet the Physicist who Spoke Out against the Bomb She Helped Create
Katharine “Kay” Way was a nuclear physicist who worked at multiple Manhattan Project sites. She was an expert in radioactive decay. But after atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, she became increasingly concerned about the ethics of nuclear weapons. Way signed the Szilard Petition and worked to spread awareness of the moral responsibility surrounding atomic weaponry. Her efforts included co-editing the influential One World or None: A Report to the Public on the Full Meaning of the Atomic Bomb, and she remained an outspoken advocate for fairness and justice.
Katie Hafner: This is Lost Women of the Manhattan Project, a special series of Lost Women of Science. I’m Katie Hafner. This week we’re going to tell you about Katharine Way, a nuclear physicist who did important work on radioactive decay. We think the world needs to know about her. And while we’re at it this week, we’re also going to tell you a little more about the Szilard Petition from 1945