01.1 Security & Science at the Weapons Laboratories

In 1999, the Council of the American Physical Society issued a statement on National Security and the Open Conduct of Science. The Council reaffirms three propositions central to that statement:

  • There is a "critical connection between U.S. national security and scientific research activities";
  • "Effective national security requires the highest standards of vigilance and circumspection";
  • And "the science on which [national security] is based must meet the highest standards of excellence."

To maintain the scientific vitality of the weapons laboratories, the Council therefore recommends that restrictions on scientific interchange of unclassified information be eliminated to the maximum extent possible, including limitations on foreign visitors and on travel by laboratory personnel.

The Council notes that the strength and effectiveness of the weapons laboratories require a scientific workforce of the highest caliber. As the Council previously noted, it would also be damaged by "any negative characterization of scientists on the basis of ethnic or national origins." Only by attracting and retaining outstanding scientists can the weapons laboratories continue to perform their critical national security role.

Adopted by the Council on April 27, 2001
Category: National Policy

APS Statements

APS Statements are public policy statements that undergo a meticulous process of draft and review, including receiving comments from APS members, before being voted on by APS Council at one of its semiannual meetings.