Kurt Gottfried, who is co-founder and chair of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), has made scientific advocacy his avocation 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 titled “Science Meets Politics: From Thomas Jefferson to George W. Bush” as part of the Assembly Series.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wed., Feb. 9, in Graham Chapel, located north of Mallinckrodt Center on the Washington University Hilltop campus.
Last year, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an independent organization that has often taken stands at odds with administration policy — and that has been criticized itself by some scientists as being guilty of “politicizing” science — accused the Bush administration of systematically distorting scientific fact in the service of policy goals on the environment, biomedical research, nuclear weapons and other issues.
In his talk, Gottfried will present evidence in support of this claim that will be summarized from an historical perspective.
Gottfried was born in Vienna, Austria. He studied engineering physics at McGill University and has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is professor emeritus of physics at Cornell University, where he also served as chairman of the department from 1991-94.
He has served on the senior staff of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) 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, the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also serves as a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.
He is a leading authority on fundamental particle physics and is the author of Quantum Mechanics and Concepts of Particle Physics.
He has devoted some of his 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.
For more information, call (314) 935-4620 or visit the Assembly Series Web page.