Federation of American Scientists

Federation of American Scientists

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The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) is a nonpartisan
Nonpartisan
In political science, nonpartisan denotes an election, event, organization or person in which there is no formally declared association with a political party affiliation....

, 501(c)(3) organization
Organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

 intent on using science and scientific analysis to attempt make the world more secure. FAS was founded in 1945 by scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development program, led by the United States with participation from the United Kingdom and Canada, that produced the first atomic bomb during World War II. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army...

 to develop the first atomic bombs. These scientists felt that science had become central to many key public policy questions, and that they had a unique responsibility to inform public policy makers of potential dangers from scientific and technological advances, and to show how good policy could increase the benefits of new scientific knowledge. Known for priding itself on an ability to bring together people from many disciplines and organizations, FAS attempts to address critical policy topics that are not well covered by other organizations.

With 86 Sponsors, FAS feels that it promotes a safer and more secure world by developing and advancing solutions to important science and technology security policy
Security policy
Security policy is a definition of what it means to be secure for a system, organization or other entity. For an organization, it addresses the constraints on behavior of its members as well as constraints imposed on adversaries by mechanisms such as doors, locks, keys and walls...

 problems by educating the public and policy makers, and promoting transparency, through research and analysis to maximize impact on policy. FAS projects are organized under four main program areas: Biosecurity
Biosecurity
Biosecurity is a set of preventive measures designed to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, quarantined pests, invasive alien species, living modified organisms...

, Earth Systems, Educational Technologies, and Strategic Security.

History


FAS was originally founded as the Federation of Atomic Scientists on November 30, 1945 by a group of scientists and engineers within the Associations of Manhattan Project Scientists, Oak Ridge Scientists, and Los Alamos Scientists. Its early mission was to support the McMahon Act of 1946, educate the public, press
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

, politicians and policy-makers, and promote international transparency and nuclear disarmament
Nuclear disarmament
Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated....

. On January 6, 1946, FAS changed its name to the Federation of American Scientists, but its purpose remained the same - to agitate for the international control of atomic energy
Nuclear reaction
In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, a nuclear reaction is semantically considered to be the process in which two nuclei, or else a nucleus of an atom and a subatomic particle from outside the atom, collide to produce products different from the initial particles...

 and its devotion to peaceful uses, public promotion of science and the freedom and integrity of scientists and scientific research. For this purpose, permanent headquarters were set up in Washington and contacts were established with the several branches of government, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, professional and private organizations, and influential persons.

By 1948, the Federation had grown to comprise of twenty local associations, with 2,500 members, and had been instrumental in the passage of the McMahon Act and the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

, and had influenced the American position in the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 with regard to international control of atomic energy and disarmament.

In addition to influencing government policy, it undertook a program of public education on the nature and control of atomic energy through lectures, films, exhibits, and the distribution of literature, coordinating its own activities with that of member organizations through the issue of memorandum
Memorandum
A memorandum is from the Latin verbal phrase memorandum est, the gerundive form of the verb memoro, "to mention, call to mind, recount, relate", which means "It must be remembered ..."...

, policy statements, information sheets, and newsletters.

Mission


The mission of FAS is to promote a safer and more secure world by developing and advancing solutions to important science and technology security policy problems by educating the public and policy makers, and promoting transparency, through research and analysis to maximize impact on policy.

Strategic Security Program


Continuing the FAS tradition of international control of atomic energy and devotion to its peaceful uses, the Strategic Security Program (SSP) pursues projects that create a more secure world. SSP includes program work that focuses on reducing the risks of further nuclear proliferation, preventing the traffic and sale of small arms and light weapons, creating greater government transparency on national security issues, and analysis on the threat from international terrorism.

The Strategic Security Blog is one of the first NGO blogs with overall coverage of national security written by real experts in the field. Topics include arms trade, biosecurity, chemical weapons, man-portable air defense systems, and nuclear weapons and proliferation.

Arms Sales Monitoring Project


The Arms Sales Monitoring Project (ASMP) seeks to increase transparency, accountability and restraint in the legal arms trade; eradicate the illicit arms trade; and to serve as a repository of data on U.S. arms transfers and arms export controls.
For the past decade, FAS has reported on the arms trade, U.S. arms export policies, and the illicit trade in small arms
Small arms
Small arms is a term of art used by armed forces to denote infantry weapons an individual soldier may carry. The description is usually limited to revolvers, pistols, submachine guns, carbines, assault rifles, battle rifles, multiple barrel firearms, sniper rifles, squad automatic weapons, light...

 and light weapons through the publication of reports and articles, media outreach, and public speaking. FAS’ objective is to get information out to interested journalists, policy makers, and the general public so that many people can act, achieving much more than FAS alone can.

Government Secrecy


The Government Secrecy Project works to promote public access to government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 information and to illuminate the apparatus of government secrecy, including national security classification and declassification
Declassification
Declassification is the process of documents that formerly were classified as secret ceasing to be so restricted, often under the principle of freedom of information. Procedures for declassification vary by country...

 policies. The project also publishes previously undisclosed or hard-to-find government documents of public policy interest, as well as resources on intelligence policy.

The FAS project on Government Secrecy also provides a Secrecy News blog, a publication that reports on new developments in government secrecy and provides public access to documentary resources on secrecy, intelligence and national security policy.

Military Analysis Network


The Military Analysis Network offers information on U.S. and Foreign Weapon Systems, Munitions, and Weapons in Space
Space weapon
Space weapons are weapons used in space warfare. They include weapons that can attack space systems in orbit , attack targets on the earth from space or disable missiles travelling through space...

. The Network provides resources and databases in several categories including:





Nuclear Information Project


The Nuclear Information Project provides the general public
General Public
General Public were a band formed by The Beat vocalists, Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, and which included former members of Dexy's Midnight Runners, The Specials and The Clash...

 and policy-makers with information and analysis on the status, number, and operation of nuclear weapons, the policies that guide their potential use and nuclear arms control. The project reports on developments in the nuclear fuel cycle
Nuclear fuel cycle
The nuclear fuel cycle, also called nuclear fuel chain, is the progression of nuclear fuel through a series of differing stages. It consists of steps in the front end, which are the preparation of the fuel, steps in the service period in which the fuel is used during reactor operation, and steps in...

 that are relevant to nuclear weapons proliferation
Nuclear proliferation
Nuclear proliferation is a term now used to describe the spread of nuclear weapons, fissile material, and weapons-applicable nuclear technology and information, to nations which are not recognized as "Nuclear Weapon States" by the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also known as the...

. The project puts technical information into a nonproliferation context and looks at case studies by conducting independent calculations and analyses.

Terrorism Analysis Project


The Terrorism Analysis Project focuses on the nexus of violent non-state actors and weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

. A primary goal of the project is to expand the scope of discussion around violent non-state actors. FAS strives to look into the entire spectrum of dangerous non-state actors vis-à-vis the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and its security. The project also focuses on weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 (WMD) and weapons of mass disruption, for example: chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear weapons, as well as improvised explosive devices.

Biosecurity Program


The Biosecurity Program (BIO) concentrates on researching and advocating policies that balance science and security without compromising national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

 or scientific progress. This includes preventing the misuse of research and promoting the public understanding of the real threats from biological and chemical weapons.

The Biosecurity Blog provides the public with a resource to find the latest updates on biosecurity
Biosecurity
Biosecurity is a set of preventive measures designed to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, quarantined pests, invasive alien species, living modified organisms...

 policy, bioterrorism
Bioterrorism
Bioterrorism is terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents. These agents are bacteria, viruses, or toxins, and may be in a naturally occurring or a human-modified form. For the use of this method in warfare, see biological warfare.-Definition:According to the...

 information, and biodefense
Biodefense
Biodefense refers to short term, local, usually military measures to restore biosecurity to a given group of persons in a given area who are, or may be, subject to biological warfare— in the civilian terminology, it is a very robust biohazard response. It is technically possible to apply...

 research.

Educational Technologies Program


The Educational Technologies Program (ETP) focuses on ways to use innovative technologies to improve how people teach and learn. The ETP designs and creates prototype
Prototype
A prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from.The word prototype derives from the Greek πρωτότυπον , "primitive form", neutral of πρωτότυπος , "original, primitive", from πρῶτος , "first" and τύπος ,...

 games and learning tools. In addition, the ETP assembles collaborative projects consisting of NGOs, design professionals, and community leaders to undertake innovative education initiatives at both the national and local level. ETP also publishes major studies and briefs members of the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 on innovative education technologies.

Emerging Technologies


Notable in this area is the FAS Virtual Worlds Project, which includes not only FAS, but a strong and diverse group of partners. The Virtual Worlds Project’s initial stage was the creation of a Website which is intended to be a compendium of virtual world Websites. Eventually, this site will serve as the foundation for a new universe of virtual worlds, all of which will use a common set of open source tools, and one that will make it possible for a diverse collection of developers, instructors and others to collaborate in the design, evaluation, and use of such learning systems while providing the option for learners and educational institutions to choose among competing approaches. The Wiki site can be found here: FAS Virtual Worlds Wiki.

Games and Simulations


FAS is working to help create learning tools that help bring about major gains in learning and training. The most recent FAS project is Immune Attack, a fully 3-D game in which high school students discover the inner workings of the body's circulatory and immune systems, as they pilot a tiny drone through the bloodstream to fight microscopic invaders.

Immune Attack is funded by the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

 and jointly developed by the Federation of American Scientists, the University of Southern California, Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

, and Escape Hatch Entertainment. It teaches immunology in a fun and engaging way that is different from the traditional classroom setting, making use of the “challenge and reward” paradigm found in most video games.

Immune Attack is a supplemental teaching tool, designed to be used in addition to middle school and high school biology textbooks. Immune Attack introduces molecular biology
Molecular biology
Molecular biology is the branch of biology that deals with the molecular basis of biological activity. This field overlaps with other areas of biology and chemistry, particularly genetics and biochemistry...

 and cellular biology in detail that is usually reserved for college students. However, it uses the familiar and motivational video game format to introduce the strange and new world of cell
Cell (biology)
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. It is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing, and is often called the building block of life. The Alberts text discusses how the "cellular building blocks" move to shape developing embryos....

s and molecules.

Earth Systems Program


The Earth Systems Program (ESP) seeks to examine the increased stresses on the environment, including issues relating to energy, food, agriculture, water, and other natural resources
Natural Resources
Natural Resources is a soul album released by Motown girl group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas in 1970 on the Gordy label. The album is significant for the Vietnam War ballad "I Should Be Proud" and the slow jam, "Love Guess Who"...

, and to analyze how they interact with respect to international security
International security
International security consists of the measures taken by nations and international organizations, such as the United Nations, to ensure mutual survival and safety. These measures include military action and diplomatic agreements such as treaties and conventions. International and national security...

. ESP was created out of the idea that technology should allow people worldwide to improve their living standards and amenities through secure and environmental-friendly ways. ESP seeks to improve dialogue and trust between environmental scientists, policy makers, and the public, as well as to develop science partnerships to solve critical environment and energy problems.

Building Technologies Project


The FAS Building Technologies Project was initiated in 2001 to focus the efforts of scientists and engineers who specialize in building materials on a range of issues such as structural engineering
Structural engineering
Structural engineering is a field of engineering dealing with the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads. Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right....

, indoor air quality
Indoor air quality
Indoor air quality is a term referring to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants....

, energy efficiency
Efficient energy use
Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal of efforts to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. For example, insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature...

, and architectural design
Architectural Design
Architectural Design, also known as AD, is a UK-based architectural journal first launched in 1930.In its early days it was more concerned with the British scene, but gradually became more international. It also moved away from presenting mostly news towards theme-based issues...

 to create homes that are safe, affordable, and attractive to builders and owners in the U.S. and abroad.

The Building Technologies Program works to advance innovation in building design
Building design
Building design refers to the broadly based architectural, engineering and technical applications to the design of buildings. All building projects require the services of a building designer, typically a licensed architect or structural engineer...

 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, help to meet these goals in ways that are beneficial for builders and owners. Since its conception, the Building Technologies Project has combined the talents of renowned architects and engineers along with the nation’s leading energy experts to embark upon housing issues in the U.S. and abroad.

Program Areas include:





International Science Partnership


The International Science Partnership (ISP) is a scientific exchange and long-term partnership project, that will bring together scientists—especially younger scientists—from the United States and a developing country into a long-term partnership to solve major environmental or energy security issues within that developing country.

Leadership


The Federation of American Scientists is led by a Board of Directors of accomplished and renowned scientists.

Dr. Charles D. Ferguson is the President of FAS. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

 and an Adjunct Lecturer in the National Security Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

. Prior to FAS, he worked as the Philip D. Reed Senior Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

. In addition to the many long and distinguished positions he has held, Dr. Ferguson is a widely respected physicist and nuclear engineer who has more than twenty years of experience in the field.

FAS membership includes numerous prominent American and international scientists, many of whom are current and former government officials. In addition, the FAS Board of Sponsors includes 64 Nobel Laureates.

See also

  • Digital Opportunity Investment Trust
    Digital Opportunity Investment Trust
    Digital Opportunity Investment Trust 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.-Concepts:...

  • Immune Attack
    Immune Attack
    Immune Attack is an educational video game created by the Federation of American Scientists and Escape Hatch Entertainment. Early development of the game was done by Brown University, in collaboration with the University of Southern California, under a grant from the National Science Foundation...

  • Richard L. Meier
    Richard L. Meier
    Richard Louis Meier, is an US regional planner, systems theorist, scientist, urban scholar, and futurist, who was Professor in the College of Environmental Design at University of California at Berkeley. He was an early thinker on sustainability in planning, and recognized as a leading figure in...

    one of the founding members

External links


Official Websites

Other