UCS Senior Scientist Wins American Physical Society’s Leo Szilard Lectureship Award

Dr. Edwin Lyman Honored for His Work to Strengthen U.S. Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Reactor Security Policies

Published Oct 24, 2017

WASHINGTON (October 24, 2017)—Late yesterday, the American Physical Society (APS) announced that Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), is the winner of its annual Leo Szilard Lectureship Award “for using his technical expertise and tireless advocacy to maintain and strengthen U.S. policy on nuclear nonproliferation and reactor safety and security.”

An internationally recognized expert on nuclear weapons and nuclear power, Dr. Lyman testifies regularly before Congress and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees U.S. commercial nuclear reactors. Since joining the Global Security Program at UCS in 2003, he has published articles in a number of journals and magazines, including Arms Control Today, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Energy and Environmental Science, Nuclear Engineering International, Science, and Science and Global Security, and has been cited in thousands of news stories. Dr. Lyman also co-authored the critically acclaimed book, Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster (New Press), which was published in February 2014.

“Dr. Lyman is the perfect example of someone who successfully brings his scientific expertise to bear on important matters of public policy,” said Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund, co-director of the UCS Global Security Program. “His work has truly made the world a better place.”

The Leo Szilard award was established in 1974 by the Forum on Physics and Society as a memorial to the Hungarian-American physicist Leo Szilard in recognition of his concern for the social consequences of science. The award was endowed in 1998 by donations from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and anonymous individuals. According to APS, the award recognizes “outstanding accomplishments by physicists in promoting the use of physics for the benefit of society in such areas as the environment, arms control, and science policy.” As the award-winner, Dr. Lyman will give lectures at an APS meeting and at two or more educational institutions or research laboratories over the next year.

“APS prize and awards committees ponder the nominations of scores of outstanding nominees across the spectrum of physics disciplines,” said APS President Laura Greene. “It’s always a tough choice to pick the top contender for any one of the APS honors. This year, as in the past, the honorees are among the world’s most accomplished, promising and respected scientists and leaders.”