Wednesday, December 18, 2019

ICAN exposes what the “Schools of Mass Destruction” don’t want you to know

ICAN exposes what the “Schools of Mass Destruction” don’t want you to know

Did you know U.S. universities are taking billions of dollars in research funding to support nuclear weapons development? Today, our new report “Schools of Mass Destruction: American Universities in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex” exposes nearly 50 universities benefiting from the new nuclear arms race, and putting the entire world at risk.

Some of these universities are household names: University of California, Texas A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Through a variety of partnerships and programmes, the universities in this report are providing the scientific, technical and human capital needed to build U.S. nuclear weapons. And it’s happening largely in secret: many staff and students of these universities are unaware of their institution’s complicity in making weapons of mass destruction that can end our world as we know it. 

Because here’s the thing: Universities are supposed to teach students how to make the world better, not how to destroy it. Students, staff and alumni of these universities must demand that their schools live up to their mission statements, instead of working on the creation and maintenance of weapons designed to wipe out entire cities in a heartbeat, leaving lasting catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences.

That’s why we’re launching this report, and calling on all these universities to follow our recommendations to end their contribution to building and maintaining one of the greatest threats to humanity. Will you help us hold them accountable? mc_cid=342f147cab&mc_eid=30f55f1d6b

Call on universities to end their involvement on social media at

Currently staff or student? Help us organise a local campaign at

Thank you,

Alicia Sanders-Zakre

Policy & Research Coordinator
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Nearly 50 U.S. universities are involved in the research and design of U.S. nuclear weapons, largely in secret and in contradiction of their mission statements. Students and faculty must demand their universities stop helping to build weapons of mass destruction.
Johns Hopkins University receives more than twice as much funding from the Department of Defense [sic] than any other university due to the work of its Applied Physics Laboratory; in 2019 the funding ceiling for its ongoing contract was extended beyond $7 billion. This work includes research for the U.S. military’s nuclear weapons systems, despite the fact that the university’s mission statement includes the call “to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.”

More detail about Johns Hopkins University’ involvement
Johns Hopkins has a “university affiliated research center” for the Department of Defense [sic] that participates directly in nuclear weapons development called the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Started in 1942, the Applied Physics Laboratory takes up 453 acres in its off-campus location. Its stated goal is “to create defining innovations that ensure our nation’s preeminence in the 21st century.” This stands in contrast to the mission of the university overall: “To educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.”

Due in large part to the laboratory, Johns Hopkins University received $828 million in research and development grants from DoD in FY2017, more than twice as much as any other American university. It has been the site of repeated protests in previous decades. For example, in 1995 a Catholic nun and peace activist served a 30-day jail sentence for refusing to stop passing out leaflets on the lab’s campus when asked to leave.

The Applied Physics Laboratory received a renewed 7-year contract in 2017 for up to $92 million “for continuing the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center’s (AFNWC) strategic partnership.” This is only one piece of the lab’s work; in 2019, the funding ceiling for its ongoing multi-year contract with the Department of Defense [sic] was extended beyond $7 billion.

Johns Hopkins’ classified research policy creates a distinction between the laboratory and the rest of campus. While classified research is generally not allowed, the policy explicitly exempts the Applied Physics Laboratory as the only “non-academic division.”

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

9"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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