Assembly Series: Gottfried to present Ferguson lecture Feb. 9

Kurt Gottfried, co-founder and chair of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), has made scientific advocacy his vocation and is committed to generating independent scientific advice for use in creating public policies that affect Americans’ lives.

Gottfried will present the William C. Ferguson Lecture, “Science Meets Politics: From Thomas Jefferson to George W. Bush,” at 11 a.m. Feb. 9 in Graham Chapel as part of the Assembly Series.

Kurt Gottfried
Kurt Gottfried

The UCS is an independent organization that has often taken stands at odds with administration policy and has been criticized by some scientists as being guilty of “politicizing” science. Last year, the UCS accused the Bush administration of systematically distorting scientific facts in the service of policy goals on the environment, biomedical research, nuclear weapons and other issues.

In his talk, Gottfried will discuss this claim, which he will summarize from a historical perspective.

Gottfried was born in Vienna, Austria. He studied engineering physics at McGill University and has a doctorate in theoretical physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He is professor emeritus of physics at Cornell University, where he also chaired the department from 1991-94.

Gottfried has served on the senior staff of the European Center for Nuclear Research in Geneva and is a former chair of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

A leading authority on fundamental particle physics, Gottfried wrote Quantum Mechanics: Fundamentals and Concepts of Particle Physics.

Gottfried has devoted time to problems of nuclear disarmament. He led the UCS critique of the “Star Wars” program, and is senior author of The Fallacy of Star Wars and Crisis Stability and Nuclear War.

Assembly Series talks are free and open to the public. For more information, call 935-4620 or go online to