World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Eugene Rabinowitch

Eugene Rabinowitch (1901–1973) was a Russian-born American biophysicist who is best known for his work in relation to nuclear weapons, especially as a co-author of the Franck Report and a co-founder in 1945 of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a global security and public policy magazine, which he edited until his death.

When Rabinowitch arrived in New York City, he was assisted by Selig Hecht,

a man whose spontaneous sympathy, friendship and assistance were so generously given to me when I first came to America and felt lost in the human sea of New York.[1]

During World War II, Rabinowitch worked in the Metallurgical Laboratory (or "Met Lab"), the Manhattan Project's division at the University of Chicago. At that time he was a member of the Committee on Political and Social Problems, chaired by James Franck. Rabinowitch wrote (with help from Leó Szilárd) what became known as the Franck Report. The report recommended that nuclear energy be brought under civilian rather than military control and argued that the United States should demonstrate the atomic bomb to world leaders in an uninhabited desert or barren island before using it in combat.

The social and ethical concerns expressed in the Franck Report translated into the guiding principles of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, founded by Rabinowitch and fellow physicist Hyman Goldsmith. In the twenty-fifth anniversary issue of the Bulletin, Rabinowitch wrote that the magazine's purpose "was to awaken the public to full understanding of the horrendous reality of nuclear weapons and of their far-reaching implications for the future of mankind; to warn of the inevitability of other nations acquiring nuclear weapons within a few years, and of the futility of relying on America's possession of the 'secret' of the bomb." Over the years, Rabinowitch wrote more than 100 articles for the magazine, most of them editorials.

Before the war, Rabinowitch passionately pursued research in photosynthesis, a field in which he was to become a leader. After World War II, Rabinowitch taught and researched botany as a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, continuing his photosynthesis work and publishing the three-volume Photosynthesis and Related Processes, as well as many other books.

A bibliography of Rabinowitch's publications[2] was compiled by Govindjee at the Department of Botany, University of Illinois. The papers of Rabinowitch are held in the Special Collections at the University of Chicago Library.


  1. ^ E. Rabinowitch (1959) Preface to second edition of Explaining the Atom (1947) by Selig Hecht, page xiii, Viking Press
  2. ^ Govindjee (1972) "Publications of Eugene Rabinowitch", Biophysical Journal 12(7):719–22

External links

  • Eugene Rabinowitch, "A Sustained Reaction," "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists", December 1952. Reprinted in abridged form from the Nov/Dec 2005 issue of the Bulletin.
  • Alexander Rabinowitch, "Founder and Father," "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists", January/February 2005
  • Josh Schollmeyer, "Minority Report," "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists", January/February 2005.
  • "The voice of Eugene Rabinowitch & the 1980 Rabinowitch Prize Essay," "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists", January 1981.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from School eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.