Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Union of Concerned Scientists (UNITED STATES)

The Union of Concerned Scientists is one of the leading non-profit, scientific organizations with the aim of creating the conditions for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS brings together independent academic research and community initiatives to develop innovative, practical solutions and advocate for changes in government policy. An important goal of the UCS is to give more space to the application of scientific research to urgent ecological and social problems.
What began as a collaboration between students and faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 is now an alliance of more than 250,000 citizens and scientists. UCS members are people from all walks of life: biologists and physicists, parents and business people, teachers and students. The organization's accomplishments show that well thought out actions, based on the best available scientific evidence, can make a big difference.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is a public-oriented, scientific organization, with the goal of protecting the environment and creating a safer world. UCS brought together independent, scientific research and citizens’ groups in order to form innovative, practical solutions to government politics. One of the UCS’ most important goals was to raise support for scientific research on pressing ecological and social problems.

What began as a collaboration between students and professors at MIT in 1969, developed into a program with more than 250,000 members and scientists taking part. UCS members come from a wide variety of backgrounds including: biologists and physicists, parents and business people, in addition to teachers and students. The success of the organization shows that well thought out actions, relying on scientific insights can be very helpful in producing positive results.

In the 1960s the USC criticized President Nixon’s „Safeguard“ rocket defense system in a report. Their efforts were part of a larger national movement, which effectively halted the program. The head of the organization in the seventies wanted the public to be aware of the dangers of atomic weapons, by presenting factual information. The UCS demanded the closure of the famous „Three Mile Island“ nuclear plant, in addition to 15 other nuclear power plants. 12,000 scientists signed a petition asking for an explanation of the nuclear arms race as well as a halt to nuclear tests, and the creation of more nuclear weapons. In 1980 the UCS accused the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of not satisfactorily maintaining security standards in nuclear power plants throughout the country. Over the next decade the UCS turned its focus to climate change. Since the year 2000 UCS had published a variety of regional analyses about the effects of global warming. UCS experts played an essential part in the first multinational efforts in the fights against global warming.