Bernard T. Feld

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Bernard T. Feld
Born21 December 1919 Edit this on Wikidata
Brooklyn Edit this on Wikidata
Died19 February 1993 Edit this on Wikidata (aged 73)
Brooklyn Edit this on Wikidata
Alma mater

Bernard Taub Feld (December 21, 1919 – February 19, 1993) was a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He helped develop the atomic bomb, and later led an international movement among scientists to banish nuclear weapons.[1] His life could be effectively summed up with the following famous quotation:[neutrality is disputed]

I was involved in the original sin, and I have spent a large part of my life atoning for it. – Bernard T. Feld

Early life[edit]

Feld was born in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from the City College of New York with a bachelor of science degree in 1939. He began graduate school at Columbia University, but suspended his studies to join the American war effort. He spent the war serving as an assistant to Enrico Fermi and Leó Szilárd working on the Manhattan Project. After World War II, he returned to Columbia University to receive his PhD in 1945 with thesis advisor Willis Lamb.


Feld was on the faculty of MIT from 1948 until he retired in 1990. During this time, he was President of the Albert Einstein Peace Prize Foundation, editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and head of the American Pugwash Committee.[2][citation needed]

Feld was a Ford Foundation Fellow and a visiting scientist at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.[3][4]

The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. Feld was a leader in these conferences, serving as U.S. Chairman from 1963 to 1973 and as International Chairman from 1973 to 1978. It was in this role that he attracted the anger of Richard Nixon's White House. He was eleventh on Nixon's list of enemies, a fact that pleased him tremendously.[citation needed]

"One month after the election of Ronald Reagan, Feld being an editor of 'Bulletin of the American Atomic Scientists' reported that his publication had decided to move the hands on the Doomsday Clock featured on its cover from seven to four minutes to midnight, because, as 'the year drew to a close, the world seemed to be moving unevenly but inexorably closer to nuclear disaster' ".[5]


  1. ^ "Remembering Bernie". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: 13–17. May 1993.
  2. ^ Preliminary Inventory to the Papers of Bernard Taub Feld MC.0167, MIT, Institute Archives and Special Collections
  3. ^ "Professor Bernard Feld dies at 73". MIT News. 24 February 1993. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  4. ^ Feld, Bernard T. "Elementary Particle Physics - Lecture Courses Given at Cern in 1961" (PDF). CERN Yellow Reports. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  5. ^ Richard Pipes, "Vixi. Memoirs of Non-Belonger", Yale University Press, 2003

External links[edit]