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Sullivan receives Leo Szilard Lectureship Award from American Physical Society

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
(217) 244-1073;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Jeremiah D. Sullivan, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois and former director of the UI’s Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security, has been selected as the 2000 recipient of the Leo Szilard Lectureship Award from the American Physical Society.

The award recognizes Sullivan for “leadership in addressing technically complex and often controversial national security issues, such as anti-ballistic missiles, stockpile stewardship, and a comprehensive test ban; and for setting a high standard for applying the rigorous methods of physics to the challenging problems of integrating advanced technology with sound policy in a democratic society.”

The award will be presented May 1 at the APS meeting in Long Beach, Calif.  Founded in 1899, the APS has more than 40,000 members worldwide.

The award is named for physicist, biophysicist and “scientist of conscience” Leo Szilard (1898-1964).  Szilard’s ideas included the linear accelerator, electron microscope, and nuclear chain reaction.  Equally important was his insistence that scientists accept moral responsibility for the consequences of their work.  The award honors outstanding accomplishments by physicists in promoting the use of physics for the benefit of society in areas such as the environment, arms control and science policy.

Sullivan earned his bachelor’s degree in physics in 1960 from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and his doctorate in physics in 1964 from Princeton University.  He worked in the theoretical physics group at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center from 1964 to 1967, and then joined the UI faculty.

In the early years of his career, Sullivan made significant contributions to particle physics, particularly to electromagnetic interactions and to hadron-hadron processes at high energy.  In 1974, he began what ultimately developed into his major research interest when he accepted an invitation to become a member of JASON, a group of experts who provide technical analyses to the U.S. government on scientific issues relevant to national security.  Every summer since 1974, he has spent six weeks working with the JASON group and has contributed significantly to its success.

In addition to his JASON work, Sullivan has participated in a number of other important studies and reviews that have played key roles in the evolution of U.S. defense policy during the past 25 years.  He recently was selected by the Secretary of Energy to chair a new DOE Advisory Committee on Nonproliferation and National Security.  He serves on the board of directors of the Arms Control Association; on the Advisory Committee for the Nonproliferation, Arms Control and International Security Directorate of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; on the Review Committee for the National Security Division of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; on the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and on the External Advisory Committee for the Technology Program of the Cornell Peace Studies Program.

Sullivan has made wide-ranging, lasting contributions to arms control and international security, including important detailed calculations of shock-wave profiles from underground tests and studies of technologies for enhancing the effectiveness of peace operations, comprehensive nuclear test-ban issues, science-based stockpile stewardship, technology and policy of ballistic missile defenses, arms control verification, military and civilian uses of space, and science and public policy.  He recently completed an edited volume titled “Technology for Peace:  Enhancing the Effectiveness of Multinational Peace Operations.”