Edward Teller: Science and National Security

Oct 21, 2004

The Department of Energy Historical Office and the History and Public Policy Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center are organizing a symposium on Edward Teller's legacy to the U.S. science community and U.S. national security. The panel of distinguished speakers will be introduced by The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton, President and Director, Woodrow Wilson Center, and The Honorable Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Energy. The panel discussion will be moderated by C. Bruce Tarter, Director Emeritus of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The event will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the 6th Floor Auditorium. While the event is open to the public, an RSVP is required.

Introductory remarks by
The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton, President and Director, Woodrow Wilson Center


The Honorable Spencer Abraham, US Secretary of Energy

The panel discussion will be moderated by
C. Bruce Tarter, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Frederick Seitz, President Emeritus Rockefeller University
Hans Mark, University of Texas, Austin
Lowell Wood, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Steve Libby, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
John Foster, Northrop-Grumman Space Technology

About the Panelists
C. Bruce Tarter is Director Emeritus of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California and was the eighth director to lead the Laboratory since it was founded in 1952. A theoretical physicist by training and experience, he spent most of his career at the Laboratory. As director, he led the Laboratory in its mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important problems of our time. The Laboratory is a principal contributor to the Department of Energy's programs to maintain the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and to reduce the international dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction.

Tarter received a bachelor's degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. His career at the Livermore Laboratory began in 1967 as a staff member in the Theoretical Physics Division. His research concentrated on supercomputer calculations of the properties of matter at high temperatures and densities, with applications to nuclear weapons, fusion, energy, and astrophysics. He became head of Theoretical Physics in 1978.

During the 1980s, Tarter became a Laboratory leader in establishing strong institutional ties with the University of California. He served on a number of institutional committees and task forces, and he helped formulate the Laboratory's strategic direction as a member of the Long-Range Planning Committee. In 1988, he joined the ranks of senior management as associate director for Physics, a position that he expanded to include weapons physics, space technology leading to the Clementine mission to the Moon, and a broadly based program in global climate and other environmental research.

Tarter was selected as director in 1994, after serving briefly as deputy director and acting director. He led the Laboratory through the transition to a post-Cold War nuclear weapons world, helping to set the foundation for current programs in stewardship of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. He also worked to build the programs in nonproliferation and counter-terrorism, and in energy, environment, and bioscience.

In addition to his Laboratory activities, Tarter has served in a number of outside professional capacities. These include a six-year-period with the Army Science Board, service as an adjunct professor at the University of California at Davis, and membership on the California Council on Science and Technology, the Laboratory Operations Board (Secretary of Energy Advisory Board), Pacific Council on International Policy, Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Corporation and Board of Directors of the Draper Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the California Council on Science and Technology, and received the Roosevelts Gold Medal Award for Science (1998), NNSA Gold Medal for Distinguished Service (2002), and the US Department of Energy Exceptional Public Service Award (2002).

Frederick Seitz was born in San Francisco on July 4, 1911. He received his Bachelor's degree from Stanford in 1932 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1934. He has written some classic works in physics including Modern Theory of Solids (1940), was co-editor of the series Solid State Physics (started in 1954), and examined the evolution of science in The Science Matrix (1992). He wrote his autobiography On The Frontier: My Life in Science in 1994 and published Stalin's Captive: Nikolaus Riehl and the Soviet Race for the Bomb in 1995. The University of Illinois published his most recent book, Electronic Genie, The Tangled History of Silicon in Electronics (1997).

Seitz's early career included positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and General Electric. During world War II, he worked for the National Defense Research Committee, the Manhattan District, and as a consultant to the Secretary of War. From 1946 to 1947 he was director of the training program on peaceful uses of atomic energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Appointed professor of physics at the University of Illinois in 1949, Seitz became department chair in 1957 and a dean and vice president for research in 1964. He joined The Rockefeller University as its president in 1968.

Dr. Seitz was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1951, serving as part-time president for three years before assuming full-time responsibility in 1965, serving until 1968. He has served as advisor to NATO, the President's Science Advisory Committee, the Office of Naval Research, the National Cancer Advisory Board, the Smithsonian Institution, and other national and international agencies. He has been honored with the Franklin Medal (1965), the Compton Medal—the highest award of the American Institute of Physics (1970), the National Medal of Science (1973), two NASA Public Service awards (1969 and 1979), the National Science Foundation's Vannevar Bush Award (1983), National Academy of Engineering's Distinguished Honoree Award (1995), as well as honorary degrees from over 32 universities worldwide. In 1993, the University of Illinois renamed its Material Research Laboratory in Dr. Seitz's honor. Stanford University has honored him with the Hoover Medal and Princeton University with the Madison Medal. In 1997 the Council of the Smithsonian Institution presented him with the Joseph Henry Medal.

Stephen B. Libby is the Theory and Modeling Group Leader in V Division, in the Physics and Advanced Technologies Directorate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His research focuses on high energy density physics and its application to defense, inertial confinement fusion, and short wavelength lasers.

He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1972, and his Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University in 1977. He performed postdoctoral work at the Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at SUNY at Stony Brook, and was subsequently a Research Assistant Professor at Brown University. During this period, he worked on quantum chromodynamics (theory of strong interactions in particle physics) and the theory of the quantum Hall effect. In 1986, he joined the X-Ray Laser Program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, eventually becoming the Design Group and Program Leader. He was also a Consulting Professor at Stanford University from 1992-1994.

Libby held a Putnam Fellowship at Princeton University, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is the author of about 60 papers. In addition, he holds a certificate in International Security from Stanford University.

Hans Mark is a Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin, a post he has held since 1988. Since 1992, he also holds the John J. McKetta Centennial Energy Chair in Engineering. Since 1990, he has been associated with The University's Institute for Advanced Technology as a Senior Research Engineer. In that capacity he works on advanced weapons systems for the U.S. Army.

Dr. Mark was named Chancellor of The University of Texas System on September 1, 1984 and served until September 1, 1992. Prior to joining The University in September 1984, Dr. Mark was the Deputy Administrator of NASA having been appointed to that position by President Reagan in March 1981. During his term of service he oversaw the first fourteen space shuttle flights and helped to initiate the U.S. Space Station Program. Dr. Mark moved to Washington in April 1977 when he was appointed Undersecretary of the Air Force and director of the National Reconnaissance Office by President Jimmy Carter, a post he held until February 1981. During his service as Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Mark initiated the establishment of the U.S. Air Force Space Command which is now the U.S. Space Command with headquarters in Colorado Springs. In June 1998, Dr. Mark took a leave-of-absence from The University to return to the Pentagon to serve in the Department of Defense as the Director of Defense Research and Engineering. In that position, he was the chief technical advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. He returned to his post at The University in March 2001.

Before moving to Washington, Dr. Mark was the director of the NASA-Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California for eight years (1969-1977). Dr. Mark was also responsible for initiating the Bell XV-15 experimental tiltrotor aircraft program which in 1996 led to the development of the first privately funded commercial venture in tiltrotor aviation, the Bell-Boeing 609.

From 1955 to 1969, Dr. Mark was associated with the University of California at Berkeley and at Livermore, California. He served as a professor of nuclear engineering and department chairman at the University of California in Berkeley and as a research scientist and division leader at the University's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Mark led research groups working in nuclear and atomic physics and also contributed to astrophysics and to developing instrumentation used in the testing of nuclear weapons. In addition to his regular academic appointment, Dr. Mark has held non-tenured or adjunct appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California at Davis and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer in Houston. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Polytechnic University in New York and is a director of several corporations. He served on President Ford's Science and Technology Advisory Group and on the Defense Science Board.

Dr. Mark is the author or co-author of more than 200 scholarly articles and numerous books including "Experiments in Modern Physics", "The Management of Research Institutions", "Power and Security", "The Space Station: A Personal Journey" and "Adventures in Celestial Mechanics".

Dr. Mark was awarded NASA's Distinguished Service Medal in 1972 and again in 1977. In 1981 and again in 2001, he received the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Department of Defense. The U.S. Air Force bestowed the Exceptional Civilian Service Medal on Dr. Mark in 1979 and in 1984 he received the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal and the Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal from NASA. Most recently in 2001, Dr. Mark was awarded the Gold Medal of the Department of Energy by the Secretary of Energy. Dr. Mark holds five honorary degrees, a Doctor of Science from Florida Institute of Technology (1978), Doctor of Engineering degrees from Polytechnic University (1982) and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (1991) , a Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Edward's University (1993) and a Doctor of Science Honoris Causa from the Royal Military College of Science of the United Kingdom (2004).

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