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Kistiakowsky Renounces Past Stand On Resumption of Atmospheric Tests


In an apparent reversal of his previous stand on atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, George B. Kistiakowsky, Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Chemistry, said yesterday he was "not unalterably opposed to the resumption of atmospheric testing."

"Under certain circumstances--when the healthy development of our country is involved--the United States should test. At present the amount of radioactivity in the atmosphere is very far below any level which might cause radioactive illness," Kistiakowsky told the CRIMSON yesterday.

With President Kennedy expected to make a decision within a month regarding the resumption of atmospheric nuclear testing, the New York Times of last Sunday carried an article citing the opposing forces attempting to influence his decision.

Kistiakowsky, who was a science adviser to President Eisenhower, recently headed a group to the White House that opposed the appointment of John A. McCone as director of the C.I.A.

The Times linked Kistiakowsky's opposition to McCone, who is an outright advocate of the resumption of atmospheric testing, with other academic and political sources opposing any resumption of atmospheric nuclear testing whatsoever. In reversing his stand and currently supporting nuclear testing if militarily necessary, Kistiakowsky is now opposed by many at the University.

Hughes Disagrees

H. Stuart Hughes, professor of History, asserted yesterday, "I am very definitely opposed to any nuclear testing. While there may be valid military arguments for its resumption, for me, the overriding consideration is to halt the pollution of the atmosphere and the intensification of the cold war before it is too late."

Agreeing with Hughes, Eugene G. Rochow, professor of Chemistry, said. "Only harm can come from a testing resumption." He claimed that man has not yet been able to determine at what point radioactivity becomes dangerous on either short or long-term levels.

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