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Encyclopedia > Federation of American Scientists

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS)[1] is a non-profit organization formed in 1945 by scientists from the Manhattan Project who felt that scientists, engineers and other innovators had an ethical obligation to bring their knowledge and experience to bear on critical national decisions. Their first projects focused on controlling nuclear weapons and research on civilian nuclear power, issues that remain prominent to FAS today. Year 1945and died 2007 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... This page is about the World War II nuclear project. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... A nuclear power station. ...

Endorsed by 67 Nobel Laureates[2] in chemistry, economics, medicine and physics, FAS now addresses a range of issues where science and technology analysis is critical. FAS members build on a long history of insisting that rational, evidence-based arguments form the basis of national policy. Nobel Prize medal. ...



The Strategic Security Program pursues projects that can reduce the threat to the United States, and the world, from biological, chemical, conventional and nuclear weapons. The U.S. confronts a broad range of threats in a security environment that has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Policymakers working on security issues must master an increasingly sophisticated set of technical issues and need ready access to the relevant facts and analysis. FAS continues to give high priority to projects designed to reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons, secure existing weapons and materials, strengthen international nonproliferation regimes and guardi against the spread of dangerous technologies to unreliable states and terrorist groups. For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ...

In nuclear weapons, FAS played a key role in helping a bipartisan Congressional effort block funding for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) or “bunker buster.”[3] Using public data, FAS was able to show that the device could not achieve its mission without creating catastrophic collateral damage. FAS inserted this analysis into the debate using printed reports, a computer animation, and numerous briefings for members of Congress and Congressional staff. The work was cited in the Congressional debate. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

FAS is currently engaged in efforts to block what the organization considers to be dangerous plutonium reprocessing efforts. Three decades ago, the U.S. government opposed civilian nuclear reprocessing because of nuclear proliferation dangers. Recently, however, the Congress reversed this policy by requiring an accelerated schedule of decisions to use unproven reprocessing technologies. FAS wishes to lead the debate and is working toward persuading policymakers and the public of FAS leadership's opinion: that this is a foolhardy plan. // Nuclear reprocessing separates any usable elements (e. ... World map with nuclear weapons development status represented by color. ...

FAS is also completing a comprehensive technical and scientific review of the reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. This report will be important to upcoming debates about nuclear testing and the role of the Reliable Replacement Warhead, or RRW. The Reliable Replacement Warhead also known as RRW is a controversial new design American nuclear warhead and bomb family that its supporters claim will be simple and reliable and provide a long lasting, low maintenance future nuclear force for the United States. ...

In late 2005, the Nuclear Information Project (NIP),[4] an FAS-sponsored effort pushing for greater declassification of nuclear weapons-related information, called attention to a new emphasis by the Bush administration on preemption in a revised nuclear doctrine. FAS analysis received worldwide press coverage. Sixteen members of Congress subsequently submitted a letter to the administration objecting to the nuclear doctrine and asking the President for clarification. NIP also co-authors the Nuclear Notebook column in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the overview of world nuclear forces published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook. Both publications are among the most often cited for current numbers of nuclear weapons in the world. Cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists with the famous Doomsday Clock set at seven minutes to midnight. ...

FAS’ most recent biosecurity projects include the development of a comprehensive resource for biosecurity on the web and the development of interactive, web-based course materials designed to raise awareness of the dangers of dual use research. This first-of-a-kind curriculum will be released in the next few months.

The FAS Government Secrecy Project's stated goal, which it has pursued for many years, has been to increase access to information, which ensures that the public can play a meaningful role in their democracy, while still preserving what FAS believes is a level of security and secrecy sufficient to protect critical national secrets. This has been a source of some controversy, especially among foreign policy hawks; for example, the Administration of George W. Bush has increased the level of secrecy and withdrawn many documents previously available in government archives. The American Library Association recognized the FAS Government Secrecy Project early this year with the prestigious James Madison Award for championing, protecting, and promoting public access to government information and the public's right to know.

The Arms Sales Monitoring project works to block the flow of dangerous weapons to unstable states and terrorist groups. It has had major successes in the past few years securing funding for a federal program to destroy weapons seized from illegal traffickers and ensuring that data on arms trade is easily available to the public.

The Information Technologies Program works to intensify and focus research and development to improve how we teach and learn. FAS believes that the United States is facing an education crisis in formal schooling and workforce training. Even in the contentious political atmosphere in Washington, no one doubts that a world-class U.S. workforce -- skilled in math, science, and technology -- is needed to maintain or improve the competitiveness of U.S. companies and ensure national security. FAS has promoted advanced information technologies, including interactive simulations, “question management” systems that combine automated and human responses, and continuous assessments.

Current projects include development of three experimental educational games. Discover Babylon, set in ancient Mesopotamia introduces 8 year olds to the fundamentals of literacy by following the introduction of writing. Immune Attack, aimed at high school and first year college students, teaches immunology in a game where players train immune cells to repel ever more sophisticated invaders. Multi Casualty Incident Response, developed in partnership with the Fire Department of New York, trains chiefs to manage complex events involving many deployed units. The educational games are currently being tested with their targeted audiences, which include biology classrooms around the country, museums and New York City fire chiefs.

FAS is also working to create a national education trust fund called the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DOIT). DOIT is aimed at harnessing the Internet as an educational tool and encouraging government and private investment in the development of Internet-based education. Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DOIT) is a proposal to create a United States federal trust to distribute, for educational purposes, funds to be raised by public auctions of licenses to use radio frequency bands. ...

During the past year FAS hosted a “Summit on Educational Games”[5] that explored the innovations in game technology that might be useful in educational applications. The resulting policy recommendations have attracted widespread interest in the Congress and legislation implementing them has been drafted.

FAS also hosted a workshop on the “virtual patient”[6] that explored the state of the art in systems for training medical personnel using computer-based tools. It resulted in a report that has influenced national thinking on research priorities in this critical area.

The Housing Technology Program combines the talents of engineers, energy efficiency specialists and other experts in the field of housing to develop new materials and design methods that can lead to safe, energy efficient, affordable homes in the U.S. and abroad. Plans are underway to construct model homes using these new technologies in the hurricane-plagued zones of Baton Rouge, LA, and Mobile County, AL; in a residential area of Houston, TX; and in an upscale, earthquake-prone neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. FAS will compare these homes with stick-built houses that use traditional construction methods and monitor the energy usage of each.

FAS provides separate free email alerts on nuclear security, small arms, biodefense, housing technology and learning technologies.

Strategic Security

Government Secrecy

This project, the subject of much controversy, seeks to challenge what FAS sees as unwarranted secrecy in general, and promotes reform of national security information policy and practice. Since 2000, this project has published Secrecy News, a free newsletter about the handling, withholding and release of information by governments and armed forces. Edited by Steven Aftergood, the newsletter is distributed by email, generally two to three times per week and is available online in blog format. It replaces the prior publication, Secrecy & Government Bulletin, which has issues archived on the website going back to Issue 30, of January 1994. [7] Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ...

Arms Sales Monitoring Project

This project studies the global arms trade and analyzes the effects of both legal and black market sales. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into underground economy. ...

Biological and Chemical Weapons

This project informs scientists and the general public about biological and chemical weapons and their control. The project concentrates on researching and advocating policies that balance science and security without compromising national security or scientific progress. That includes preventing the misuse of research and promoting public understanding of the real threats from biological and chemical weapons.

FAS has produced a series of case studies that define the issues associated with “dual-use” research and security in the research lab. They include interviews with researchers whose legitimate scientific work could potentially be used for questionable or harmful endeavors, as well as a historical perspective on their research, bioterrorism, and regulations.

Nuclear Weapons

FAS has focused on nuclear weapons since its founding in 1945 by scientists concerned about control of the technology they had helped create. It now studies modern day uses and deterents for nuclear weapons and monitors United States military decisions regarding their development.

FAS has a speakers' bureau of persons who represent its point of view and advocacy, on the dangers of radiological weapons known as dirty bombs and of nuclear weapons proliferation by individuals, non-state terrorists, and states. It follows next generation nuclear weapons development including proposed “bunker busters.”

It tracks the debate over resuming nuclear weapons testing and provides Congress with reports and analyzes Administration policy.

The project provides a document archive to educate the general public about Administration policy and Congressional reports. It advocates that individuals and groups contact members of Congress to urge them to stop work on next generation nuclear weapons.

The project provides a Bomb-A-City Calculator to calculate the radius within which most buildings would be destroyed.

FAS published "Missions for Nuclear Weapons after the Cold War," which states as its thesis that, of 15 missions claimed for US nuclear forces, only one justified its size and structure: a first strike capability against Russia’s nuclear arsenal, which in turn, Russian maintains to deter our attack.

America's War on Terrorism

This project provides information and analysis on the War on Terrorism, as well as the United States security policy. This article is about U.S. actions after September 11, 2001. ...

United States Weapon Systems

This project compiles a detailed multimedia guide to United States military systems and hardware.

United States Munitions

This project compiles a detailed guide about non-nuclear, biologic and chemical NBC ammunition currently in use in the United States military ranging from bullets to bombs. For the album, see Weapons of Mass Destruction (album). ...

Rest of World Military Equipment

This project compiles a guide to non-US military systems and hardware.

Information Technology

Learning Federation

The Learning Federation is a partnership of companies, universities, government agencies and private foundations to promote a national research plan that uses information technology to improve upon traditional approaches to teaching and learning. New technologies will speed the introduction of tools to make learning more engaging, more effective, and more accessible.

The Digital Promise [8]

This project will create a major national educational trust fund, the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT), to help transform education, workforce training, and lifelong learning. Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DOIT) is a proposal to create a United States federal trust to distribute, for educational purposes, funds to be raised by public auctions of licenses to use radio frequency bands. ...

Serious Games

FAS has developed three prototypes of educational games.

Immune Attack -- an advanced educational video game that teaches human immunology for 9th grade – college level students. [9] Immune Attack is an educational video game created by the Federation of American Scientists and Brown University, in collaboration with the University of Southern California, under a grant from the National Science Foundation. ...

Discover Babylon – a cultural game that incorporates artifacts from exhibits at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, and transports the player to a virtual reality of ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). [10] The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland is one of the finest small privately-formed art collections open to the public in the United States. ...

Multi Casualty Incident Responder – a high-stress, real-time training simulation for firefighters to serve as a national model for first-responder training. [11]

Biomedical Computing Requirements

This project analyzes the impact of advanced computers on biomedical systems and issues.

Digital Human

This project creates and promotes a community of information and biological scientists working on biomedical research simulations.

Building Technology Program

The The Building Technologies Project is working to advance innovation in building design and construction that can improve quality, affordability, energy efficiency and hazard protection while lowering construction and operating costs. Technical advances, including new composite materials and prefabricated components, can help meet these goal in ways that are beneficial to both builders and owners.

FAS collaborates with scientists and engineers that specialize in building materials, structural engineering, architectural design, indoor air quality and energy-efficiency to create safe and affordable housing in the U.S. and abroad.

FAS seeks to advance the current state of construction by evaluating, disseminating and supporting advanced building materials, technologies and systems, such as Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) with alternative facings. FAS has assembled an interdisciplinary team of experts many of whom have had years of experience in construction to develop lasting close links with the industry to help facilitate the adoption of new technologies in residential and commercial practice. Structural insulated panels (or structural insulating panels), SIPs, are a composite building material. ...

The Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) is one such technology that deserves more attention in the construction market. SIPs were first developed over 50 years ago by the Forest Products Laboratory, established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Starting in 1952, Alden B. Dow - the son of the founder of the DOW Chemical Company - began to design SIPs for residential construction. SIPs are composite building materials that consist of an insulating core such as Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) or Polyurethane with two structural facings on each side. While the most common facing material used in the industry is Oriented Strand Board (OSB) or wood facing, SIPs can also be manufactured with fiber-cement boards and metal skins.

FAS’s research can be instrumental in solving the extraordinary need for housing by providing safe, inexpensive buildings.


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  7. ^ [7] Secrecy News email newsletter Secrecy News blog

See also

Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DOIT) is a proposal to create a United States federal trust to distribute, for educational purposes, funds to be raised by public auctions of licenses to use radio frequency bands. ... Immune Attack is an educational video game created by the Federation of American Scientists and Brown University, in collaboration with the University of Southern California, under a grant from the National Science Foundation. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Federation of American Scientists - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (736 words)
The Federation of American Scientists is a non-profit organization dedicated to the proper use of science and technology for the benefit of mankind.
It was founded in 1945 (as the Federation of Atomic Scientists) by members of the Manhattan Project.
This project informs scientists and the general public about biological and chemical weapons and their control.
Henry Kelly speaks on science policy (625 words)
The Bush administra-tion's appointment of industry-supported scientists to the committee made national news last year and has raised concerns that the members of such advisory groups are being chosen on the basis of their ideological commitments rather than their scientific expertise.
The Federation of American Scientists (formerly the Federation of Atomic Scientists) was founded in 1945 by members of the Manhattan Project.
Szilard, a member of the Manhattan Project and one of the founders of the Federation of Atomic Scientists, was a tireless proponent of nuclear disarmament.
  More results at FactBites »



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