Peter Wilk, MD
Speaker Topic: Clean Air, Climate Change, Coal, Nuclear Weapons
Medical Specialty: Psychiatry
PSR Affiliation: Member, National Board; Past President of PSR; former Executive Director
Position: Co-chair, Leadership & Governance Committee
Areas of Expertise:
Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
Moderating Climate Change
Protecting Clean Air
Phasing out Dirty Coal Plants
Media Experience: Television, Radio, Writing (editorials, op-eds), Public Speaking
I first became involved with PSR after viewing “The Last Epidemic” in 1981. I was touched at some deep emotional level with recognition that our collective shortsightedness, bravado, accidents, or even misguided good intentions could result in nuclear war and the end of all that we hold dear in this fragile, beautiful world of ours. That danger continues today. The threats of climate change and toxic degradation of the environment are equally great; proceeding at a slower, but inexorable pace, unless we collectively change our course. Working with others in PSR, through a combination of education and advocacy, locally and nationally, gives me hope that we can change course. Humans created these problems – together, we can solve them.
Peter Wilk, MD, has been active for the past 30 years in public health advocacy organizations and medical organizations concerned with preventing nuclear war, moderating climate change, reducing toxic pollution, and phasing out nuclear reactors. He was named Executive Director of PSR in February 2009. He has a long association with PSR, having served as a PSR Board member for many years and as PSR’s President in 1995 and 2000. As Executive Director, Dr. Wilk led the largest physician-led organization in the United States working to address the gravest threats to human health and survival.
Dr. Wilk has held leadership positions with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), acting as the Co-Vice President for North America from 1996 to 2000 and Speaker of the International Council from 2004 to 2008. He served as Congress Chair and led in organizing the 2002 joint PSR & IPPNW “Summit for Survival” World Congress in Washington, DC. He also served as the President of PSR/Maine from 1983 to 1994 and from 1998 to 2008.
Dr. Wilk is the author of Social Responsibility is Our Responsibility, published in the University of Vermont College of Medicine alumni magazine. He is also the co-author of Projected Casualties among U.S. Military Personnel and Civilian Populations from the Use of Nuclear Weapons against Hard and Deeply Buried Targets. In addition, Dr. Wilk has published a long list of op-ed pieces in support of elimination of nuclear weapons.
Dr. Wilk has practiced psychiatry at a number of different settings in Maine since 1981. He earned his B.A. Cum Laude from Harvard College in 1972 and his M.D. from The University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1977.
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