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Union of Concerned Scientists records

Identifier: MC-0434

  • Staff Only
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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Records of the chair, Henry Kendall, and executive directors, Howard Ris and Eric Van Loon, include project files and correspondence about the founding, early history, and organizing activities of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). There are extensive files reflecting UCS's concern for nuclear reactor safety, including reports from the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and other documentation of UCS participation in AEC hearings (1972-1973) to consider the Emerging Core Cooling System safety system.

Other UCS testimonies, reports, clippings, and writings by Henry Kendall and Daniel F. Ford concern nuclear power stations and the reactor accident at Three Mile Island. There are also legal documents about the United States Nuclear Regulatory Agency and UCS writings and publications about nuclear reactor licensing and safety. There are news clippings and other reference files including opinion polls about the arms race, especially the MX missile and the Strategic Defense Initiative, and energy issues including solar power, global warming, radioactive waste, and the environment.


  • Creation: 1964 - 1986


Access note

This collection is open.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Historical note

The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded in 1969 by faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concerned primarily about the implications of nuclear war and anti-ballistic missiles. From 1973 to 1999, the organization was chaired by Professor Henry W. Kendall of the MIT physics department. Currently [as of 2011], it is chaired by James J. McCarthy, Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University. It has evolved into an organization with its own staff and high-level advisors involved in conducting studies, producing materials to explain technical issues to the public, lobbying for changes in public policy, and fundraising. In addition to arms limitation, their efforts have focused on nuclear power safety, the nuclear weapons and global security, and environmental issues including climate change, US energy policy, automobile pollution, and genetic engineering in agriculture.


112.2 Cubic Feet (112 record cartons, 1 tube)

Language of Materials



Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Preliminary Inventory to the Records of the Union of Concerned Scientists
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US