Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Speaks in Pittsburgh

A Nobel Peace Prize recipient is speaking in Pittsburgh tonight about his recently-published memoir. Bernard Lown began his medical career as a highly-accomplished cardiologist; he invented the defibrillator. But after hearing a lecture on the dangers of nuclear war, he says he became convinced that it was a greater threat to humanity than sudden cardiac death.

Lown's memoir, "Prescription for Survival," documents his work against nuclear proliferation. He co-founded Physicians for Social Responsibility and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which brought together scientists from the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Lown says he disagrees with people who think the U.S. won the Cold War; he says we lost because the investment in the nuclear arms race could have been spent on domestic needs.

Lown says the United States now spends $40 billion a year maintaining nuclear weapons that ideally would never be used. He believes that other countries are seeking nuclear weapons only because the United States already has them. Lown says if the United States got rid of its nuclear weapons, other countries would follow suit.

Lown is speaking at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association tonight at 7:30.

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