If Everett Mendelsohn sounds as though he's more concerned with the social ramifications of sciences than with nitty gritty experimentation, that's because he is.
The volumes on the shelves filling an entire wall of the office provide the first clue: The Golden Age of Science, Human Aspects of Biomedical Innovation, Familiar Medical Quotations, and copies of The American Historical Review. They are not your typical scientific journals. But, then, Everett I. Mendelsohn, professor of the History of Science and the owner of these and hundreds of other similarly titled tomes, is not your typical scientist. He's also not your typical historian of science--if there is such a thing--for Mendelsohn does not immerse himself in academics to the exclusion of other activities.
Rather, he spends a good deal of time criss-crossing the globe to carry out a vow he made years ago while still in college: "to devote some segment of my time and knowledge and ability to what I would broadly call the securing of peace in the world--the securing of justice." Since the 1950s the focus of his efforts has been the nuclear arms race, and he has worked closely with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an organization that actively encourages the peaceful resolution of conflicts in the United States and abroad, to reduce what Mendelsohn considers a dangerous level of hostility in the world.
That is no small task because Mendelsohn's interests encompass "the whole area of world peace and the overcoming of the desperate arms race," says John Sullivan '38, an associate executive secretary to the AFSC's international division who has known Mendelsohn since the 1950s. In working toward his