The U.S. did not apply the knee-jerk capitalistic model of mobilizing competition. Had we succumbed to that model, the government might have offered grants and other incentives to encourage individual scientists, universities, private and publicly held companies to compete in a race to develop the bomb -- with benefits to the winner.
Albert Einstein was a reluctant celebrity, but he recognized that he could use his fame to promote causes to make the world more humane and democratic. Today -- when both science and democracy are under attack by right-wing forces -- Einstein's voice as both a scientist and citizen are sorely missed.
Last week, I returned to Los Alamos, New Mexico, scene of our greatest crime, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, where preparations continue for bigger and better nuclear weapons. This time, I accompanied a delegation of 13 elderly Japanese peace activists from Hiroshima, Japan. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.