Matthew S. Meselson, Cabot Professor of Natural Sciences, Thursday received the Forum on Physics and Society's Leo Szilard Award for his research on biological and chemical weapons.
Thomas Sheahen, secretary of the forum, said yesterday, "The executive committee selected Meselson because he was one of the first people to research the long-term effects of chemical weapons and herbicides used during the Vietnam War."
Keep It Green
Meselson said yesterday he is currently working to get the United States to ban the use of herbicides, because he feels they encourage the use of other chemical weapons.
In addition, Meselson said, "In our studies in Vietnam, we found that herbicides have no military utility."
Meselson worked in 1974 for the ratification of the Geneva Protocol Treaty, which prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons.
The award is named after Leo Szilard, a renowned physicist who "very early realized the public policy implications of science," Sheahen said.
"I knew Leo Szilard and I respected him and loved him deeply; therefore I am deeply pleased about receiving this award," Meselson added.
The Forum on Physics and Society is a division of the American Physical Society. "The forum is a group of people who discuss methods of using physics for the benefits of society," Sheahen said.