UCSD physicists oppose nuclear plan

Several hundred physicists across the nation have united in opposition to a U.S. Department of Defense proposal that would give the United States the right to use nuclear weapons against other nations that don’t possess them, according to a UCSD press release.

The movement is spearheaded by a petition begun by two UCSD physics professors, Kim Griest and Jorge Hirsch.

“We point out in the petition that nuclear weapons are on a completely different scale than other weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons and that the underlying principle of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is that, in exchange for other countries forgoing the development of nuclear weapons, the nuclear weapon states will pursue nuclear disarmament,” Hirsch stated in the press release.

The reasons given for the government’s proposal, which include “rapid and favorable war termination on U.S. terms,” does not justify the use of nuclear weapons, according to Hirsch.

“This new U.S. policy dramatically increases the risk of nuclear proliferation and, ultimately, the risk that regional conflicts will explode into all-out nuclear war, with the potential to destroy our civilization,” Hirsch stated.

Of the 470 physicists that signed, seven are Nobel laureates.

UC alliance targets math, science goals

A committee of the California Public Utilities Commission will endow $1.3 million to a math- and science-oriented program headed by University of California, according to a UC press release.

The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement program targets K-12 students in disadvantaged situations with hopes of improving their educational opportunities.

The funds will be split up into three key areas: academic preparation, higher education recruitment and paid internships meant to introduce M.E.S.A. graduates mathematics- and science-specific careers.

All of the community-college students in the program transfer to four-year universities with math, science or engineering majors.

Chancellor addresses student concerns

Students participating in the quarterly chancellor’s chat posed both light-hearted and hard-hitting questions, some of which Chancellor Marye Anne Fox had no concrete answers.

The chat, held on Sept. 29, gave students the chance to interact with the chancellor through an electronic chat room.

One student, under the alias “DJ,” questioned the campus’ methods of strengthening its alumni base.

Fox offered no specific techniques, but stated that she hoped UCSD graduates would continue to support the university after graduation. Another participant, “Shalene,” asked about a rumored shrinking amounts of outreach funding.

“Outreach is very important to the university,” Fox stated in her answer. “As one activity supportive of our goal of diversity and inclusion, we were pleased that the draconian cuts proposed last spring were reduced by almost 90 percent, but the reality is that such programs cannot be fully funded at this time. We will be looking for private sector support to enhance these and other outreach programs.”