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Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists

From Academic Kids

The Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists (ECAS) was founded by Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard in 1946. Its aims were to warn the public of the dangers associated with the development of nuclear weapons, promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and ultimately work towards world peace, which was seen as the only way that nuclear weapons would not be used again.

The Committee was established in the wake of Szilard's 1945 petition to President of the United States Truman opposing the use of the atomic bomb on moral grounds, which was signed by 68 scientist who had worked on the Manhattan Project.

The Committee only ever consisted of the eight members of the Board of Trustees, who were:

Half the members had worked directly on the Manhattan Project and all had been indirectly involved or consulted on the production of the first atomic bomb.

Several members of the committee gave lecture tours to promote the committee's message of peace. They produced supporting promotional materials, including one of the first films to illustrate what a full nuclear war might be like. EACS was also very vocal in its opposition of the development of the first hydrogen bomb.

EACS was active for four years, until 1950 when it was gradually disbanded, although most of the members continued to campaign against nuclear war, and participated in the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.

External links

  • Part of an interview with Linus Pauling (http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/conversations/Pauling/pauling1.html) recalling the early days of EACS.
  • 1947 Letter (http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/einstein.html) by Albert Einstein soliciting funds for the benefit of EACS.
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