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November 9, 2012
John Ahearne Honored by Federation of American Scientists
On November 9th, 2012, Sigma Xi Executive Director Emeritus Dr. John F. Ahearne
was presented with the Richard L. Garwin Award by the Federation of American Scientists
(FAS) for his commitment to national security throughout his career.
According to FAS's website, "this award was established by FAS to honor the remarkable career of Dr. Richard L. Garwin, and to recognize his exceptional contributions in both scientific and technical achievement and his legacy of an enhanced national security to the benefit of society. The FAS Richard L. Garwin Award for Distinguished Service is an annual award that recognizes an individual who, through exceptional achievement in science and technology, has made an outstanding contribution toward the benefit of mankind."
Dr. Ahearne served as Sigma Xi Executive Director from 1989-1997 and has
directed Sigma Xi's ethics program since then. A member of the National
Academy of Engineering and a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, Ahearne is an expert on nuclear power and nuclear weapons. He
was an adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering and lecturer in
public policy at Duke University and is an adjunct scholar for Resources for the
Future. His popular ethics booklet,
The Responsible Researcher: Paths and Pitfalls (1999), updates and complements Sigma Xi's widely-circulated guidebook,
Honor in Science.
A physicist, Ahearne has also served as U.S. Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Energy and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense and has been active
on National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences committees.
A past president of the Society for Risk Analysis, he is a fellow of the American
Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. He was inducted into Sigma Xi in
1964 and currently keeps an office at the Sigma Xi Headquarters in Research
Triangle Park, North Carolina.