June 29, 2016


The Committee of Concerned Scientists began as an ad hoc committee in Washington, D.C. and New York City in September 1972. A group of American scientists, physicians and engineers recognized the need to translate their deep concern about their colleagues who are denied their fundamental human rights because of their outspoken political views or their expressed desire to emigrate.

Former Executive Director Sophie Cook talks about the history of the Committee of Concerned Scientists.


A History of Human Rights Work at the American Physical Society

CCS Advisory Board member, Dr. Edward Gerjuoy, Professor Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh's Physics Department, has penned a very informative article on the development of the American Physical Society's involvement in the defense of human rights. Read the American Physical Society's Defense of Human Rights  … continue reading >>

Board Member Zafra Lerman to Discuss Malta Conferences and Science Diplomacy

On May 19, Zafra Lerman, winner of the 2015 AAAS Prize for Science Diplomacy and a long time active board member of CCS, will discuss the work of the Malta Conferences (see below for details on how to participate). CCS has supported this unusual biennial event that brings together scientists from countries of the Middle East, including Iran, Iraq, Israel, Palestine and many others, who are able to  … continue reading >>

CCS Regrets the Death of Charles Townes

Charles H. Townes, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose work led to the development of the laser, died in Oakland, California on January 27, 2015 at the age of 99 after a long illness. He was a National Sponsor of the Committee of Concerned Scientists. Related articles Charles H. Townes, inventor of the laser, dies at 99 (pbs.org) UCF Mourns Nobel Laureate and Laser Pioneer Charles H.  … continue reading >>

France’s Science Academy Gold Medal Honors Work and Life of Joel Lebowitz

The Academie des Sciences of the Institute of France awarded its 2014 Grande Medaille, its highest distinction, to Joel Lebowitz, Director of the Rutgers Center for Mathematical Sciences Research and co-chair of the Committee of Concerned Scientists, calling him "a man of science and peace." Besides his prominence as a world leader in statistical physics,  the citation describes Lebowitz, the only  … continue reading >>

CCS Regrets the Death of Andrew Sessler,
Advisory Board Member and Strong Supporter

Dr. Andrew Sessler, CCS Advisory Board member and the former director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, passed away on April 1, 2014 after a long illness. "Intensely concerned about human rights, Sessler focused on scientists caught in political situations beyond their control. He wrote letters in support of dissidents in the Soviet Union and other countries. He was active on boards and  … continue reading >>

Jack Minker Gave Talk on His Memoir

Dr. Jack Minker, CCS Vice-Chair for Computer Science and University of Maryland Professor Emeritus, gave a talk about his recently published memoir, Scientific Freedom & Human Rights: Scientists of Conscience During the Cold War, at the University of Maryland on October 3. Minker's book documents his work in human rights with CCS and other human rights organizations from 1972 to the  … continue reading >>

Astrophysicist Fang Lizhi, Chinese Activist, Member of CCS Advisory Board, Dies at 76

It is with great sadness that we report the death on April 6, 2012 of our distinguished colleague and Advisory Committee member Fang Lizhi of the University of Arizona. Dr. Fang was a brilliant astrophysicist and influential proponent of human rights in his native China. His political ideals inspired the pro-democracy student movement in China that eventually resulted in the protests at  … continue reading >>

Dr. Jack Minker’s 2011 Pagels Award Acceptance Speech

By Jack Minker, Vice-Chair for Computer Science I would like to thank the New York Academy of Sciences Human Rights Committee for honoring me as a co-recipient of the 2011 Heinz R. Pagels Award together with Dr. Binayak Sen of India. I have spoken to several of my colleagues from India at the University of Maryland, who have confirmed that Dr. Sen is an extraordinary humanitarian eminently  … continue reading >>

Dr. Binyak Sen’s 2011 Heinz Pagels Award Acceptance Speech

By Dr. Binayak Sen At the outset, I would like to thank the New York Academy of Sciences for conferring on me the prestigious Heinz R. Pagels Award for Human Rights. I wish it were possible for me to be with you in person on this occasion. Besides my gratitude for this great honour, I also have a personal reason to celebrate a connection with the Academy. My father was a pharmacologist whose  … continue reading >>

A History of the Committee of Concerned Scientists, 1970-2006 – via Columbia University Libraries

The Committee of Concerned Scientists (CCS) is a human rights organization composed of scientists, engineers, and scholars who promote academic and personal freedom for their colleagues worldwide. The Committee supports the rights of scientists to collaborate on research and share data, travel to conferences and meetings, and emigrate if they choose. More broadly, CCS advocates human treatment of  … continue reading >>