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An Occasion to Honor H. Jack Geiger, M.D.

November 4, 2011

A packed room at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association listened to dozens of tributes, words of gratitude and heartfelt admiration for Dr. Jack Geiger, a founding member of PSR who has dedicated his life to combating poverty and racism, protecting human rights, and preventing war. Beloved as a  teacher and mentor, Dr. Geiger has inspired generations of physicians to have the courage to right the world’s wrongs. PSR thanks Dr. Geiger for his vision in helping found our organization and for his belief that we can all work for a safer, more peaceful and just world.

Dr. Geiger’s message on the occasion of PSR’s 50th Anniversary

“We are approaching the half-century anniversary of a landmark event:  the successful effort by a handful of physicians and physicists to tell the somber truth that nuclear war was not survivable, and to counter the false and dangerous military (and so-called “civil defense”) promises that it was. The then-fledgling PSR and, later, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War have continued that effort ever since.

But this cannot be just a celebration -- or a self-congratulatory acknowledgement of past history. It is, equally, a warning and a challenge to a new generation of medical students, residents and Physicians to take up that challenge, to recognize that our planet is still awash in nuclear weapons and the fuels to produce them, to know that the threat has -- perhaps -- changed in form but remains as ominous as the acronym of the 1960s: MAD. It is your task, now, to finish what we (and many others) began so long ago: to lead the struggle to eliminate nuclear weapons and make a reality of another 1960s acronym: SANE, for the sake of humankind.”

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