Future of Energy: Richard Garwin

April 15, 2009 – "A View of Nuclear Power in the World's Energy Future"
Richard Garwin, IBM Fellow Emeritus

Richard L. Garwin was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1928. He received the B.S. in Physics from Case Institute of Technology, Cleveland, in 1947, and the Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1949.

He is IBM Fellow Emeritus at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York. After three years on the faculty of the University of Chicago, he joined IBM Corporation in 1952, and was until June 1993 IBM Fellow at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York. In addition, he is a consultant to the U.S. government on matters of military technology, arms control, etc. He has been Director of the IBM Watson Laboratory, Director of Applied Research at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, a member of the IBM Corporate Technical Committee, Adjunct Research Fellow in the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Columbia University. He has also been Professor of Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. From 1997 to 2004 he was Philip D. Reed Senior Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York.

He has made contributions in the design of nuclear weapons, in instruments and electronics for research in nuclear and low-temperature physics, in the establishment of the nonconservation of parity and the demonstration of some of its striking consequences, in computer elements and systems, including superconducting devices, in communication systems, in the behavior of solid helium, in the detection of gravitational radiation, and in military technology. He has published more than 500 papers and been granted 47 U.S. patents. He has testified to many Congressional committees on matters involving national security, transportation, energy policy and technology, and the like. He is coauthor of many books, among them Nuclear Weapons and World Politics (1977), Nuclear Power Issues and Choices (1977), Energy: The Next Twenty Years (1979), Science Advice to the President (1980), Managing the Plutonium Surplus: Applications and Technical Options (1994), Feux Follets et Champignons Nucleaires (1997) (in French with Georges Charpak), Megawatts and Megatons: A Turning Point in the Nuclear Age? (2001) (with Georges Charpak), and "De Tchernobyl en tchernobyls," (with Georges Charpak and Venance Journe) (2005).

He was a member of the President's Science Advisory Committee 1962-65 and 1969-72, and of the Defense Science Board 1966-69. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, of the IEEE, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Philosophical Society. He served on the Council of the National Academy of Sciences 1983-1986 and 2002-2005.