Public Release: 

FAS honors Raymond Jeanloz with the 2008 Hans Bethe Award

Symposium on paths to zero will follow the award ceremony

Federation of American Scientists

SAN FRANCISCO - The Federation of American Scientists has chosen Raymond Jeanloz, a professor of geophysics and astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley, as the recipient of the 2008 Hans Bethe Award for "his demonstration of the reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile in the presence of a moratorium on nuclear testing."

In addition to his primary scientific work on the behavior of matter at high temperatures and pressures and its application to planetary interiors, Jeanloz applies his expertise to vital questions of national security as the chair of the National Academy of Science's Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC). Under his leadership, CISAC published several studies and analyses of major security issues such as nuclear weapons policy, the management of weapons-useable material, and on the future of U.S. nuclear forces (

At the conclusion of his review of the National Nuclear Security Administration's Stockpile Stewardship Program, Jeanloz proclaimed it an amazing success and confirmed the ability of the United States to sustain its nuclear weapons stockpile.

"Raymond Jeanloz's investigation into the effects of aging of materials, components, and systems within the U.S. nuclear arsenal found that the materials that make up the nuclear core are far more stable and predictable than anyone would have anticipated," said Ivan Oelrich, vice president of the strategic security program at the Federation of American Scientists. "His conclusion that the U.S. stockpile will be stable for periods of at least 60 years took the wind out of the sails of advocates for new nuclear weapons."

Jeanloz's analysis demonstrated the resilience of the U.S. nuclear weapons establishment provides an opportunity for an extensive examination of post-Cold War nuclear weapons policy and its role in the 21st century.

"The world's only superpower would send a negative signal to the non-nuclear states if it felt the need to develop new types of nuclear weapons," wrote Raymond Jeanloz in the March 2003 edition of Arms Control Today.

Throughout the 1990s, Jeanloz advised the U.S. Department of Energy, adding a responsible voice to the National Nuclear Security Administration Advisory Committee. He is also the 1988 recipient of a fellowship, often called a "genius award," from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

As a Berkeley professor, Jeanloz has served on committees and panels including the National Security Panel and Nonproliferation, Arms Control and International Security Advisory Committee of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He has also served on National Academy studies, including the Committee on Technical Issues Related to Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Committee on Effects of a Nuclear Earth-Penetrator Weapon. In 1979, he received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology then joined the faculty of Harvard University before moving to Berkeley.

Hans A. Bethe co-founded the Federation of Atomic Scientists, now the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), with the belief that scientists had an obligation to participate in the difficult choices that were forced on the U.S. by the extraordinary advances in nuclear physics demonstrated by the development and use of atomic weapons. The FAS Hans Bethe Award is presented annually to an outstanding individual for science in service to a more secure world. In 2003, Hans Bethe inaugurated the award by honoring Philip Morrison for his unfailing ethical compass to America's most critical decisions. Other recipients include Steve Fetter for his advocacy of arms control and nonproliferation, and Matt Bunn for promoting the global control of dangerous nuclear materials.

The 2008 FAS Hans Bethe Award will be presented on Friday, 26 September 2008, at noon PDT before the FAS Symposium "Paths to Zero" at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

Join FAS for this free, public event. Seating is first come, first served.

Panelists include:

  • Raymond Jeanloz, Professor of Earth and Planetary Science and of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley
  • George P. Shultz, Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution and former U.S. Secretary of State
  • Sidney Drell, Professor Emeritus of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center at Stanford University
  • Joseph Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund
  • Harold Palmer Smith, Jr., Professor of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Ivan Oelrich, Vice President of the Strategic Security Program at the Federation of American Scientists
  • Gloria Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Club (moderator)


For more information on this event or to RSVP, please contact

WHEN: Friday, 26 September 2008 from 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm

WHERE: Commonwealth Club Blue Room
595 Market Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105


To RSVP for this event, contact Monica Amarelo at or (202) 454-4680. Please include your name, title, and media affiliation in your response.

Advance interviews are available upon request. To schedule an interview or photo opportunity with Henry Kelly or Raymond Jeanloz, please contact Monica Amarelo at or (202) 454-4680. Panelists will be available for interviews on-site.

About the Federation of American Scientists

The Federation of American Scientists ( was formed in 1945 by atomic scientists from the Manhattan Project. Endorsed by 70 Nobel Laureates in biology, chemistry, economics, medicine and physics as sponsors, FAS addresses a broad spectrum of national security issues in carrying out its mission to promote humanitarian uses of science and technology. Today, FAS projects study nuclear arms control and global security; conventional arms transfers; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; information technology for human health; and government information policy. The FAS Building Technology Project combines the talents of engineers and energy specialists to develop new materials and design methods that will lead to safe, energy-efficient, affordable homes in the U.S. and abroad. The FAS Learning Technologies Program works on strategies to harness the potential of emerging information technologies to improve how we teach and learn.

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