Editor’s Comment: From the very beginning at the Earth Summit Conference in Rio, the true scientific world has been warning us to not do what we have actually done:
The Heidelberg Appeal was publicly released at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. By the end of the 1992 summit, 425 scientists and other intellectual leaders had signed the appeal. Since then, word of mouth has prompted hundreds more scientists to lend their support. Today, more than 4,000 signatories, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, from 106 countries have signed it. In spite of this spontaneous and growing support from the world’s scientific community, the Heidelberg Appeal has received little media attention.
Neither a statement of corporate interests nor a denial of environmental problems, the Heidelberg Appeal is a quiet call for reason and a recognition of scientific progress as the solution to, not the cause of, the health and environmental problems that we face. The Appeal expresses a conviction that modern society is the best equipped in human history to solve the world’s ills, provided that they do not sacrifice science, intellectual honesty, and common sense to political opportunism and irrational fears.
The Heidelberg Appeal
“We want to make our full contribution to the preservation of our common heritage, the Earth.
We are, however, worried at the dawn of the twenty-first century, at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development.
We contend that a Natural State, sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look toward the past, does not exist and has probably never existed since man’s first appearance in the biosphere, insofar as humanity has always progressed by increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse. We full subscribe to the objectives of a scientific ecology for a universe whose resources must be taken stock of, monitored and preserved.
But we herewith demand that this stock-taking, monitoring and preservation be founded on scientific criteria and not on irrational preconceptions.
We stress that many essential human activities are carried out either by manipulating hazardous substances or in their proximity, and that progress and development have always involved increasing control over hostile forces, to the benefit of mankind.
We therefore consider that scientific ecology is no more than extension of this continual progress toward the improved life of future generations.
We intend to assert science’s responsibility and duties toward society as a whole.
We do, however, forewarn the authorities in charge of our planet’s destiny against decisions which are supported by pseudoscientific arguments or false and non relevant data.
We draw everybody’s attention to the absolute necessity of helping poor countries attain a level of sustainable development which matches that of the rest of the planet, protecting them from troubles and dangers stemming from developed nations, and avoiding their entanglement in a web of unrealistic obligations which would compromise both their independence and their dignity.
The greatest evils which stalk our Earth are ignorance and oppression, and not Science, Technology, and Industry, whose instruments, when adequately managed, are indispensable tools of a future shaped by Humanity, by itself and for itself, overcoming major problems like overpopulation, starvation and worldwide diseases.”
Below are listed some of the more than 4000 signers
* Bruce N. Ames, Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center, Berkeley-Biochemistry-U.S.A.
* * Phillip W. Anderson, Nobel Prize (Physics), Princeton University-Physics-U.S.A.
* * Christian B. Anfinsen, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), John Hopkins University-Baltimore-Biology-U.S.A.
* Henri Atlan, Professor, Head of Nuclear Medicine Department, Hotel Dieu, Paris-Nuclear Medicine-France
* * Julius Axelrod, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Lab. Of Cell Biology Nat. Institute of Mental Health-Cell Biology-U.S.A.
* Aden Bauleiu-Inserm, Ac. of Sciences, France, National Institute of Sciences, U.S.A. Lasker Prize-Endocrinology-France
* * Baruj Benacerraf, Nobel Prize (Medicine), National Medal of Science, President, Dana-Farber, Inc.-Cancerology-U.S.A.
* * Hans Albrecht Bethe, Nobel Prize (Physics), Emeritus Professor, Cornell University-Ithaca-NY-Nuclear Physics-U.S.A.
* *Sir James W. Black, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor Of Analytical Pharmacology King’s College, London- Pharmacology-Grande-Bretagne
* * Nicholas Bloembergen, Nobel Prize (Physics), Harvard University-Physics-U.S.A.
* Sir Hermann Bondi, Emeritus Professor Of Mathematics King’s College University Master of Churchill College Cambridge-Mathematics-Grande-Bretagne
* * Norman E, Borlaug, Nobel Prize (Peace), Sc. Consult CAMWOOD, Mexico Pdt. Sasakawa African Assoc.-Agriculture-U.S.A.
* Pierre Bourdieu, College de France-Sociology-France
* * Adolph Butenandt, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Hon. Pres. Max-Planck Institute-Chemistry-Allemagne
* * Thomas R. Cech, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), University of Colorado-Chemistry-U.S.A.
* Carlos Chagas, Academia Pontificia, WIS-Medicine-Bresil
* * Owen Chamberlain, Professor, Nobel Prize (Physics), Emeritus Professor, University Of California-Berkeley-U.S.A.
* * Stanley Cohen, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Distinguished Professor, Department of Biochem., Vanderbilt University-Biochemistry-U.S.A.
* *Sir John Warcup Cornforth, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), School of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Brighton-Chemistry-Grande-Bretagne
* * Jean Dausset, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Ac. of Sciences, France, Pres. U.M.S.E., W.I.S., Paris-Immunology-France
* * Gerald Debreu, Nobel Prize (Economy), Emeritus Professor of Economics and Mathematics, University Of California-Economy-U.S.A.
* * Johan Deisenhofer, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas-Biochemistry-U.S.A.
* Sir Richard Doll, Emeritus Professor Of Medicine, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford-Epidemiology-Grande-Bretagne
* * Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Biology-Belgique
* * Manfred Eigen, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), President of Max Plank Institute, Gottingen-Chemistry-Allemagne
* * Richard R. Ernst, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich-Chemistry-Suisse
* * Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Nobel Prize (Physics), Ac. of Sciences, Professor, College de France, Paris-Physics-France
* * Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize (Physics), Institute Professor, R.P.I.-Physics-U.S.A.
* * Donald A. Glaser, Nobel Prize (Physics), Professor of Physics, University of California-Physics-U.S.A.
* Francois Gros, Professor, College de France, Ac of Sciences, France, Vice President of WIS, Paris – Biology of development-France
* * Roger Guillemin, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Whittier Institute, La Jolla-Medicine-U.S.A.
* * Herbert A. Hauptman, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Pres. Med. Found. of Buffalo, Professor of Biophysics Sc-Biophysics-U.S.A.
* Harald zur Hausen, Professor, Dr., Director of German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg-Cancerology-Allemagne
* Mrs. Francoise Heritier-Auge, Professor, College de France, Pres Cons Nat. Sida Dir, Ehess-Anthropology-France
* * Dudley R. Herschbach, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Baird Professor Of Science, Harvard University, Cambridge-Chemistry-U.S.A.
* * Gerhard Herzberg, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), National Research Council of Canada, Chemistry – Canada
* Benno Hess, Professor, Doctor, Honorary Senator and Former Vice President, Max-Planck Society , WIS – Biophysics-Allemagne
* * Anthony Jewish, Nobel Prize (Physics), Professor, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University Physics – Grande-Bretagne
* * Roald Hoffman, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Professor Of Chemistry, Cornell University-Chemistry-U.S.A.
* * Robert Huber, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Max-Planck Institute for Biochemie, Biochemistry-Allemagne
* *Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Formerly President of London, Medicine-Grande-Bretagne
* Serguei Petrovich Kapitza, Professor of Sciences, Institute for Physical Problems, WIS-Physics, electrodynamics-Russie
* * Jerome Karle, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Chief Scientist, Lab for Structure of Matter, Chemistry-U.S.A.
* *Sir John Kendrew, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Professor, The Old Guildhall, Cambridge, Molecular Biology-Grande-Bretagne
* * Klaus Von Klitzing, Nobel Prize (Physics), Professor, Max-Planck Inst. Solid State Research, Stuttgart-Physics-Allemagne
* * Aaron Klug, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), M.R.C. Lab. of Molecular Biology, Cambridge-Chemistry-Grande-Bretagne
* * Edwin G. Krebs, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor Emeritus, Department of Pharm & Biochem, University of Washington-Biochemistry-U.S.A.
* * Leon Lederman, Nobel Prize (Physics), Director Emeritus, Fermi Nat’l Accelerator Laboratory, Nuclear Physics-U.S.A.
* * Yuan T. Lee, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Professor of Chemistry, University of California-Berkeley-U.S.A.
* * Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Professor, College de France, W.I.S. Chemistry-France
* Pierre Lelong, Professor, Ac of Sciences, W.I.S.-Mathematics-France
* * Wassily Leontief, Nobel Prize (Economy), Professor, New York University-Economy-U.S.A.
* * Rita Levi-Montalcini, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Ac Lincei, Ac Pontificia, W.I.S.-Neurosciences-Italie
* Andr Linchnerowicz, Professor, Ac of Sciences France, Ac Lincei, Ac Pontificia, President of W.I.S., Mathematical Physics-France
* Richard S. Lindzen, Professor, US National Academy of Sciences, M.I.T., W.I.S.-Meteorology-U.S.A.
* * William N. Lipscomb, Nobel Prize Winner (Chemistry), Professor Emeritus, Harvard University, Cambridge-Chemistry-U.S.A.
* * Harry M. Markowitz, Nobel Prize (Economics), Speizer Professor of Finance, Baruch College-U.S.A.
* * Simon van der Meer, Nobel Prize (Physics), Geneva-Nuclear Physics-Suisse
* * Cesar Milstein, Nobel Prize (Physiology), Dr Cambridge-Physiology-Grande-Bretagne
* *Sir. Nevil F. Mott, Nobel Prize Winner (Physics), Emeritus Professor, Cambridge University, Physics-Grande-Bretagne
* * Joseph Murray, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor, Dr Surgery, Harvard Med School-Cell Biology-U.S.A.
* * Daniel Nathans, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor, John Hopkins Un, School of Medicine, Baltimore-Molecular Genetics-U.S.A.
* Daniel W. Nebert, Professor, Director, Center for Environmental Genetics, University of Cincinnati, Genetics-U.S.A.
* * Louis Neel, Nobel Prize (Physics), Physics-France
* * Erwin Neher, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Doctor, Director, Max-Planck Institute, Biophysics, Goettingen-Biophysics-Allemagne
* * Marshall W. Nirenberg, Nobel Prize (Medicine), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda-Medicine-U.S.A.
* * George E. Palade, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor, Division of Cellular & Molecular Med, Cell Medicine-U.S.A.
* * Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize (Chemistry, Peace), Professor, Linus Pauling Institute Sc and Med, Chemistry-U.S.A.
* Jean-Claude Pecker, Professor Hon, College de France, Ac of Sciences, Royal Ac of Belgium, W.I.S.-Astrophysics-France
* * Amo A. Penzias, Nobel Prize (Physics), Professor, Bell Labortories, Murray Hill-Physics-U.S.A.
* * Max Ferdinand Perutz, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge-Biochemistry-Grande-Bretagne
* Julian Peto, Professor, Head , Section of Epidemiology, Institute of Cancer Research, London-Epidemiology-Grande-Bretagne
* Richard Peto, Professor of Medical Statistics & Epidemiology, University of Oxford-Epidemiology-Grande-Bretagne
* * John Charles Polanyi, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Professor Of Chemistry, University of Toronto-Chemistry-Canada
* *Lord George Porter, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Professor, Chairman, Photomolec, Sc Imperial College, London-Chemistry-Grande-Bretagne
* * I. Prigogine, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Professor, Director, Institute Intern. de Phys. et de Chim, Bruxelles-Chemistry-Belgique
* A. Prochiantz, Pr, Director of Research CNRS, Ecole Normale Suprieure, Paris, W.I.S.-Pharmacology-France
* Ichtiaque Rasool, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena-Physics-France
* * Tadeus Reichstein, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor Emeritus, Org Chemistry, University of Basel-Organic Chemistry-Suisse
* * Heinrich Rohrer, Nobel Prize (Physics), IBM Research Laboratory, Physics-Suisse
* * Bert Sakmann, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor, Max-Planck Inst for Med. Forschung, Heidelberg-Cell Biology-Allemange
* * Abdus Salam, Nobel Prize (Physics), International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italie
* Jonas Salk, Distinguished Pr., Dr , International Health Sciences-Biology-USA
* Evry Schatzman, Professor, Ac of Sciences-France-Astrophysics-France
* * Arthur L. Schawlow, Nobel Prize (Physics), Stanford University-Physics-U.S.A.
* G. Schettler, Professor, Director, Former President, Academy of Sciences, Heidelberg-Cardiology-Allemagne
* Elie A. Shneour, Professor, Director, Biosystems Research Institute, San Diego, California-U.S.A.
* * Kai Siegbahn, Nobel Prize (Physics), Physics-Suede
* S. Fred Singer, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Director of the Washington S.E.P.P, EnvironmentalSciences-U.S.A.
* * Richard Laurence Millington Synge, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Biochemistry-Grande-Bretagne
* GP Talwar, Professor Emeritus, Nat Inst of Immunology, Ac of Sciences, India, W.I.S.-Immunology-Inde
* * Jan Tinbergen, Nobel Prize (Economy), Economy-Pays-Bas
* *Lord Alexander Todd, Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Chemistry-Grande-Bretagne
* Alvin Toffler, Author-Futurist-Futurology-U.S.A.
* * Charles H. Townes, Nobel Prize (Physics), W.I.S. Professor Emeritus, Physics, University of California, Berkeley-Physics-U.S.A.
* Ren Truhaut, Professor, Pharmacology Facult des Sciences, Pharmaceutiques, Paris-Toxicology-France
* *Sir John R. Vane , Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor, Chairman of William Harvey Research Institute, London-Endocrinology-Grande-Bretagne
* * Harold E. Varmus, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor of Microbiology, University of California, San Francisco-Microbiology-U.S.A.
* * Thomas Huckle Weller, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor Emeritus, Harvard-Medicine-U.S.A.
* * Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize (Peace), University of Boston Literature-U.S.A.
* * Torsten N. Wiesel, Nobel Prize (Medicine), Professor, Lab of Neurobiology, Rockefeller University of New York, Neurobiology-U.S.A.
* * Robert W. Wilson, Nobel Prize (Physics), Head, Radio Physics Res Department, AT&T Bell Laboratories-Physics-U.S.A.
*Denotes Nobel Prize Winner