February 21, 1997

Dear Senator Bond:

We, the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), are writing on a matter of vital concern to the nation. We urge that you expeditiously consider and ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). We believe that this treaty will reduce one of today's gravest threats to humans. We are especially concerned that if the U.S. does not ratify CWC, U.S. participation in critical technical issues having to do with verification will be jeopardized.

AAAS has a long-standing record of concern over weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, and biological. We have been impressed by the strong support for treaty ratification offered by our AAAS affiliate, the American Chemical Society, and by the Chemical Manufacturers Association.

Founded in 1848, AAAS is one of the oldest scientific societies in America. With more than 140,000 members, AAAS also is the largest general science organization in the world. AAAS represents all scientific disciplines, including chemistry, mathematics, and engineering. In addition, 285 other U.S. scientific, engineering, and educational societies are official Affiliates of AAAS. AAAS is the Publisher of Science magazine, widely regarded as the most prestigious scientific journal in the world.

As leaders of the scientific community, we are convinced that this treaty is in the best interest of our own citizens, as well as all citizens of the world. We therefore urge you to work for ratification.


Rita R. Colwell
AAAS Chair of the Board
University of Maryland
Biotechnology Institute

Mildred Dresselhaus
AAAS President-Elect
Massachusetts Institute of

Sheila Jasanoff
AAAS Board Member
Cornell University

Simon A. Levin
AAAS Board Member
Princeton University
Richard S. Nicholson
AAAS Executive Officer

Anna C. Roosevelt
AAAS Board Member
Field Museum & University
of Illinois

Nancy S. Wexler
AAAS Board Member
College of Physicians and
Surgeon of Columbia University

Jane Lubchenco
AAAS President
Oregon State University

William T. Golden
AAAS Treasurer

William A. Lester, Jr.
AAAS Board Member
University of California,

Marcia C. Linn
AAAS Board Member
University of California,

Michael J. Novacek
AAAS Board Member
American Museum of Natural

Jean E. Taylor
AAAS Board Member
Rutgers University


March 7, 1997

Dear Senator Lott:

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) will enter into force on April 29, 1997, following its ratification by the 65th signatory nation in November, 1996. It has not yet been ratified by the United States.

This treaty bans an entire class of weapons of mass destruction. It is a nonproliferation treaty that requires total elimination of chemical weapons stocks, prohibits chemical weapons-related activities, bans assistance for such activities, and bars trade with non-parties in certain relevant chemicals. This treaty denies us no option we would otherwise wish to exercise, for the United States has already renounced chemical weapons and is in the process of destroying them. The CWC is a critical instrument for universalizing this policy and preventing the further spread of chemical weapons.

With no military interest in chemical weapons, the United States can only gain by ratifying the treaty, regardless of its level of verification. US accession is necessary to give the CWC the force of an international norm against the possession of chemical weapons. That norm alone would be powerful, providing a basis for joint action to enforce compliance.

But, in addition, the CWC provides new tools for deterring and detecting chemical weapons proliferation. The value of its provisions will grow with time, as the treaty's incentives work to increase the number of adherents. The declaration and inspection requirements will improve our knowledge of possible proliferation activities, whether conducted by nations or terrorists. Access to declared and undeclared sites will make clandestine operations more difficult, risky and expensive; participating states will have the right to demand short-notice inspections of sites in other States Parties. The CWC's provisions constitute the most rigorous verification regime ever negotiated. At the same time, the treaty and the proposed US implementing legislation explicitly protect Constitutional rights and confidential and proprietary information.

During negotiation of the treaty, senior officials of the US Chemical Manufacturers Association participated at the side of US government negotiators, and the chemical industry has consistently and publicly advocated ratification of the CWC. Now, if the treaty comes into force without US ratification, its constraints on the chemical exports of non-parties will penalize the US chemical industry. Should the Senate not ratify the Convention, the US government would also be excluded from a seat on the CWC's governing body, and from participating in the establishment of operating procedures. At the same time, as signatories we will be obliged to abide by the treaty's prohibitions.

Since the treaty was opened for signature in 1993, the United States and 166 other countries have signed it. Further, 67 countries, including all the major NATO allies, have deposited their instruments of ratifications, as have all other G-7 members.

In order to draw the attention of the Senate to the importance of this issue, the Federation of American Scientists has secured the specific endorsement of 46 Nobel Prize winners to the ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and records their names below.

Yours sincerely,

Carl Kaysen
Chairman, FAS
Prof. Emeritus, Defense and Arms Control Studies, MIT
Former Deputy National Security Advisor to the President

I urge the U.S. Senate to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention without delay.

Signed by*:
Sidney Altman
Philip W. Anderson
Kenneth J. Arrow
Julius Axelrod
David Baltimore
Helmut Beinert
Konrad Bloch
Baruch S. Blumberg
Herbert C. Brown
Stanley Cohen
Leon N. Cooper
Johann Deisenhofer
Renato Dulbecco
Gertrude B. Elion
Val L. Fitch
Walter Gilbert
Dudley R. Herschbach
David Hubel
Jerome Karle
Arthur Kornberg
Edwin G. Krebs
Joshua Lederberg
Leon Lederman
Wassily W. Leontief
Edward B. Lewis
William N. Lipscomb
Mario J. Molina
Joseph E. Murray
Daniel Nathans
Arno A. Penzias
Norman F. Ramsey
Burton Richter
Richard J. Roberts
Martin Rodbell
F. Sherwood Rowland
Glenn T. Seaborg
Herbert A. Simon
Phillip A. Sharp
R.E. Smalley
Robert M. Solow
Jack Steinberger
Henry Taube
James Tobin
Charles H. Townes
Eric Wieschaus
Robert R. Wilson

*Signatures on file at FAS Headquarters


February 24, 1997

Dear Senator Lott:

We, the undersigned scientists, urge you to work as a matter of national urgency to bring the Chemical Weapons Convention to a vote in the Senate before April 29 of this year. That is the date when the Convention will automatically enter into force, with or without the United States.

Negotiated by the administrations of Presidents Reagan and Bush, and signed by the United States under President Bush in January 1993, the Convention was formally submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification by President Clinton in November 1993. Since then it has been the subject of thirteen hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services and the Select Committee on Intelligence. The Secretaries of State and Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Director of Central Intelligence and the representatives of the Chemical Manufacturers Association have all testified strongly in favor of ratification. More than 65 countries, including all of our major allies, have ratified.

If the Senate fails even to vote on the CWC, after three administrations have been its leading architects and proponents, the United States will have surrendered by default its essential leadership in combating the proliferation of chemical weapons.


(All signatories are members of the United States National Academy of Sciences in the field of chemistry or biochemistry)

Julius Adler
Robert A. Alberty
Sidney Altman*
Fred C. Anson
W.O. Baker
John D. Baldeschwieler

with 142 additional signatures