News of the WeekARMS CONTROL

Scientific Groups Endorse Test Ban

Science  15 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5439, pp. 387-388
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5439.387a

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Physicists took center stage in Washington, D.C., last week for a quick reprise of the military debates of the 1980s. President Clinton appeared with a group of scientists and military leaders on 6 October for a spirited defense of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which would ban all nuclear testing. Opponents of the treaty cited their own technical experts and carefully worded congressional testimony from the heads of the three U.S. weapons laboratories given the day after the White House event to bolster their argument that the treaty could be a threat to national security. This Cold War--era rhetoric was the result of a surprise decision by the Senate to schedule debate on ratifying the treaty, which has been in limbo for 2 years.