Philip Morrison

Philip Morrison

: Photo from Wikimedia Commons / Author of Photo: NASA


* Nuclear scientist who advocated nuclear disarmament
* Physics professor
* Board member of the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies
* Member of both the Young Communist League and the Communist Party
* Died on April 22, 2005

Born in New Jersey in 1915, Dr. Philip Morrison was a board member of the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies (IDDS), a pro-disarmament group with ties to such leftwing organizations as Americans for Democratic Action,  the War Resisters League, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and the World Federalists.

Morrison received his Bachelors degree from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1936, and four years later earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from UC-Berkeley, where he studied under the supervision of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

As a young man, Morrison was a member of the Communist Party and the Young Communist League. He resigned from these organizations just prior to taking a position with the Manhattan Project, the secret World War II-era endeavor to produce an atomic bomb. He participated in the Trinity Test in Los Alamos, the first test of an atomic bomb. During the latter decades of his life, Morrison was a strong opponent of the development of nuclear weapons, writing and speaking out widely against them.

In 1946, Morrison became a physics professor at Cornell University, and nineteen years later took a teaching post at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also taught at San Francisco State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana.

Morrison died on April 22, 2005.

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