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50th Anniversary

Celebrating 50 Years of PSR

In 2011 and 2012 Physicians for Social Responsibility celebrated its 50th anniversary.  Our legacy is filled with many individuals who have dedicated themselves to preventing the use or spread of nuclear weapons and to slow, stop and reverse global warming and the toxic degradation of the environment. PSR honors the contributions and accomplishments of our members, staff and volunteers over the past five decades.

As we look forward to the next great chapter of the PSR, we acknowledge these significant milestones in our history:

  • Founded in 1961, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) made its mark by documenting the presence of Strontium-90 a highly radioactive waste product of atmospheric nuclear testing in children’s teeth.  This finding led to the Limited Nuclear Test Ban treaty that ended atmospheric nuclear testing.
  • In 1985, PSR shared in the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to IPPNW for building public pressure to reverse the nuclear arms race.  In the 1990s, PSR built on its record of achievement by helping to end nuclear warhead production and winning U.S. passage of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that still offers the possibility of a world without nuclear tests.
  • In 1992, PSR expanded its mission to apply its medical expertise to environmental health issues, in recognition that global climate change and toxic pollution also pose grave risks to human health. That same year, PSR’s mobilization of the medical community on environmental health issues led to a collaboration among MIT, the Harvard School of Public Health, Brown University and PSR’s Greater Boston chapter that resulted in Critical Condition, Dr. Eric Chivian’s definitive volume on human health and the environment.
  • In 2006, PSR launched an Energy Security Initiative focused on environmental health and security issues and their impact on public health, and producing and holding briefings on our report, Powering Foreign Policy: The Role of Oil and Diplomacy in Conflict, that have brought together a diverse array of public policy organizations, congressional policymakers, embassy staff,  security experts and the media; and mobilizing thousands of PSR activists to send a letter to President Bush for inadequately funding research and development of renewable energy technologies and for failing to  implement the most effective tools for decreasing U.S. oil consumption conservation  and energy efficiency.

Contribute to the PSR Library

PSR invites you, current and past PSR members and activists to share stories, photos and videos from your PSR experience. Your submissions can help us reach our goal of collecting stories and photos of PSR’s storied history.

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Art Contest

PSR sponsored an art contest as a part of the 50th anniversary celebration. The winning entries will be featured on promotional items that will be available for purchase through our website.

See the winning entries