The Heidelberg Appeal

March 29th, 2002 by Tom DeWeese

The Heidelberg Appeal was publicly released at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. By the end of the 1992 summit, 425 scientists and other intellectual leaders had signed the appeal. Since then, word of mouth has prompted thousands more scientists to lend their support. Today, more than 4,000 signatories, from over 100 countries have signed it, including more than 70 Nobel Prize winners. In spite of this spontaneous and growing support from the world’s scientific community, the Heidelberg Appeal has received very little media attention.

Neither a statement of corporate interests nor a denial of environmental problems, the Heidelberg Appeal is a quiet call for reason and a recognition of scientific progress as the solution to, not the cause of, the health and environmental problems that we face. The appeal expresses a conviction that modern society is the best equipped in human history to solve the world’s ills, provided that they do not sacrifice science, intellectual honesty and common sense to political opportunism and irrational fears.


We want to make our full contribution to the preservation of our common heritage, the Earth.

We are, however, worried at the dawn of the twenty-first century, at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development.

We contend that a Natural State, sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look toward the past, does not exist and has probably never existed since man’s first appearance in the biosphere, insofar as humanity had always progressed by increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse. We fully subscribe to the objectives of a scientific ecology for a universe whose resources must be taken stock of, monitored and preserved.

But we herewith demand that this stock-taking, monitoring and preservation be founded on scientific criteria and not on irrational preconceptions.

We stress that many essential human activities are carried out either by manipulating hazardous substances or in their proximity, and that progress and development have always involved increasing control over hostile forces, to the benefit of mankind.

We therefore consider that scientific ecology is no more than an extension of this continual progress toward the improved life of future generations.

We intend to assert science’s responsibility and duties toward society as a whole.

We do, however, forewarn the authorities in charge of our planet’s destiny against decisions which are supported by pseudoscientific arguments of false and nonrelevant date.

We draw everybody’s attention to the absolute necessity of helping poor countries attain a level of sustainable development which matches that of the rest of the planet, protecting them from troubles and dangers stemming from developed nations, and avoiding their entanglement in a web of unrealistic obligations which would compromise both their independence and their dignity.

The greatest evils which stalk our Earth are ignorance and oppression, and not Science, Technology, and Industry whose instruments, when adequately managed, are indispensable tools of a future shape by Humanity, by itself and for itself, overcoming major problems like overpopulation, starvation and worldwide diseases.

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Signatories of the Heidelberg Appeal to Heads of States and Governments 3,082 signers from 106 countries including 72 Nobel Prize Winners:

Mr. Bruce N. Ames- Dir. of Nat. Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences Center, Berkeley- Biochemistry- USA *Mr. Phillip W. Anderson- Nobel Prize (Physics), Princeton University- Physics- USA *Mr. Christian B. Anfinsen- Nobel Prize (Chemistry)- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore- Biology- USA Mr. Henri Atlan- Pr., Head Nuclear Medicine Department, Hotel Dieu- Paris- Nuclear Medicine- France *Mr. Julius Axelrod- Nobel Prize (Medicine)- Lab. of Cell Biology, Nat. Inst. of Mental Health- Cell Biology- USA Mr. Etienne Baulieu- Inserm, Ac. of Sciences, France, National Ac. of Sciences, USA, Lasker Prize- Endocrinology- france *Mr. Baruj Benacerraf- Nobel Prize (Medicine), National Medal of Science, President. Dana- Farber, Inc.- Cancerology- USA *Mr. Hans Albrecht Bethe- Nobel Prize (Physics), em. Pr., Cornell University, Ithica, NY- Nuclear Physics- USA *Sir James W. Black- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr. of Analytical Pharmacology, King’s College, London- Pharmacology- Grande-Bretagne *Mr. Nicolaas Bloembergen- Nobel Prize (Physics), Harvard University- Physics- USA Sir Hermann Bondi- Em. Pr. of Mathematics, King’s College Un., Master of Churchill College Cambridge- Mathematics- Grande-Bretagne *Mr. Norman E. Borlaug- Nobel Prize (Peace), Sc. Consult. Cimmyt, Mexico, Pdt. Sasakawa African Ass.- agriculture- USA Mr. Pierre Bourdieu- College de France, Paris- Sociology- France *Mr. Adolph Butenandt- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Hon Pres. Max-Planck Institute- Chemistry- Allemagne *Mr. Thomas R. Cech- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), University of Colorado- Chemistry- USA Mr. Carlos Chagas- Academia Pontificia, WIS- Medicine- Bresil *Mr. Owen Chamberlain- Pr., Nobel Prize (Physics), Em. Pr., Un. of California, Berkeley- USA *Mr. Stanley Cohen- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Distinguished Pr., Dept. of Biochem., Vanderbelt Un.- Biochemistry- USA *Sir John Warcup Corniforth- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), School Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Brighton- Chemistry- Grande-Bretagne *Mr. Jean Dausset- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Ac. of sciences, France, Pres. U.M.S.R.,W.I.S., Paris- Immunology- France *Mr. Gerard Debreu- Nobel Prize (Economy), Em. Pr. of Economics and Mathematics, Un. of California- Economy- USA *Mr. Johan Deisenhoffer- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Un. of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas- Biochemistry- USA Sir Richard Doll- Em. Pr. of Medicine, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford- Epidemiology- Grande- Bretagne *Mr. Christian de Duve- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Biology- Belgique *Mr. Manfred Eigan- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), President of Max Plank Institut, Gottingen- Chemistry- Allemagne *Mr. Richard R. Ernst- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich- Chemistry- Suisse *Mr. Pierre de Gennes- Nobel Prize (Physics), Ac. of Sciences, Pr., College de France, Paris- Physics- France *Mr. Ivar Giaever- Nobel Prize (Physics), Institute Pr. R.P.I.- Physics- USA *Mr. Donald A. Glaser- Nobel Prize (Physics), Pr. of Physics, Un. of California- Physics- USA Mr. Francois Gros- Pr., College de France, Ac. of Sciences, France, Vice-President W.I.S., Paris- Biology of development- France *Mr. Roger Guillemin- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Whittier Institute, La Jolla- Medicine- USA *Mr. Herbert a. Hauptman- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Pres. Med. Found. of Buffalo, Pr. of Biophysics Sc.- Biophysics- USA Mr. Harald zur Hausen- Pr., Dir., Dir. of German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg- Cancerology- Allemagne Mrs. Francoise Heritier-Auge- Pr., College de France, Pres. Cons. Nat. du Sida, Dir., EHESS- Anthropology- France *Mr. Dudley R. Herschbach- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Baird Pr. of Science, Harvard University, Cambridge- Chemistry- USA *Mr. Gerhard Herzberg- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), National Research Council of Canada- Chemistry- Canada Mr. Benno Hess- Pr., Dr., Honorary Senator and former Vice Pdt. of the Max-Planck Society, W.I.S.- Biophysics- Allemagne *Mr. Anthony Hewish- Nobel Prize (Physics), Pr. Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge Un.- Physics- Grande-Bretagne *Mr. Roald Hoffman- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Pr. of Chemistry, Cornell University- Chemistry- USA *Mr. Robert Huber- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Max-Planck Institut for Biochemie- Biochemistry- Allemagne *Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Formerly President of the Royal Society of London- London- Grande-Bretagne Mr. Eugene Ionesco- Literature- France Mr. Serguei Petrivich Kapitza- Pr., Ac. of Sciences, Institut for Physical Problems, W.I.S.- Physics, electrodynamics- Russie *Mr. Jerome Karle- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Chief Scientist, Lab. for Structure of Matter- Chemistry- USA *Sir John Kendrew- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Pr., The Old Guildhall, Cambrdige- Molecular Biology- Grande-Bretagne *Mr. Klaus Von Klitzing- Nobel Prize (Physics), Pr., Max-Planck Inst. Solid State Research, Stuttgart- Physics- Allemagne *Mr. Aaron Klug- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), M.R.C. Lab. of Molecular Biology, Cambridge- Chemistry- Grande-Bretagne *Mr. Edwin G. Krebs- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr., Em., Dep. of Pharm. & Biochem., Un. of q Washington- Biochemistry- USA *Mr. Leon Lederman- Nobel Prize (Physics), Director Emeritus, Fermi Natl. Accelerator Laboratory- Nuclear Physics- USA *Mr. Yuan T. Lee- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Pr. of Chemistry, Un. of California, Berkeley- Chemistry- USA *Mr. Jean-Marie Lehn- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Pr., College de France, W.I.S.- Chemistry- France Mr. Pierre Lelong- Pr., Ac. of Sciences, W.I.S.- Mathematics- France *Mr. Wassily Leontief- Nobel Prize (Economy), Pr., New York University- Economy- USA *Mrs. Rita Levi-Montalcini- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Ac. Lincei, Ac. Pontificia, W.I.S.- Neurosciences- Italie Mr. Andre Lichnerowicz- Pr., Ac. of Sciences, France, Ac. lincei, Ac. Pontificia, President of W.I.S.- Mathematical Physics- France Mr. Richard S. Lindzen- Pr., US National Academy of Sciences, M.I.T., W.I.S.- Meterology- USA *Mr. William N. Lipscomb- Nobel Priuze (Chemistry), Pr. Em., Harvard University, Cambridge- Chemistry- USA *Mr. Harry M. Markowitz- Nobel Prize (Economics), Speizer Pr. of Finance, Baruch College- USA *Mr. Simon van der Meer- Nobel Prize (Physics), Geneva- Nuclear Physics- Suisse *Mr. Cesar Milstein- Nobel Prize (Physiology), Dr., Cambridge- Physiology- Grande-Bretagne *Sir Nevill F. Mott- Nobel Prize (Physics), Em. Pr., Cambridge University- Physics- Grande- Bretagne *Mr. Joseph E. Murray- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr., Dr., Surgery, Harvard Med. School- Cell Biology- USA *Mr. Daniel Nathans- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr., John Hopkins Un., School og Med., Baltimore- Molecular Genetics- USA Mr. Daniel W. Nebert- Pr., Dir., Center for Environmental Genetics, Un. of Cincinnati- Genetics- USA *Mr. Louis Neel- Nobel Prize (Physics)- Physics- France *Mr. Erwin Neher- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Dr., Dir. Max-Planck Institute, Biophysics, Goettingen- Biophysics- Allemagne *Mr. Marshall W. Nirenberg- Nobel Prize (Medicine), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda- Medicine- USA *Mr. George E. Palade- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr., Division of Cellular & Molecular Med.- Cell Medicine- USA *Mr. Linus Pauling- Nobel Prize (Chemistry, Peace), Pr., Linus Pauling Institute Science and Med.- Chemistry- USA Mr. Jean-Claude Pecker- Pr. Hon., College de France, Ac. of Sciences, Royal Ac. of Belg

ium, W.I.S.- Astrophysics- France *Mr. Arno A. Penzias- Nobel Prize (Physics), Pr., Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill- Physics- USA *Mr. Max Ferdinand Perutz- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge- Biochemistry- Grande-Bretagne Mr. Julian Peto- Pr., Head, Section of Epidemiology, Institute of Cancer Research, London- Epidemiology- Grande-Bretagne Mr. Richard Peto- Pr. of Medical Statistics & Epidemiology, Un. of Oxford- Epidemiology- Grande-Bretagne *Mr, John Charles Polanyi- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Pr. of Chemistry, University of Toronto- Chemistry- Canada *Lord George Porter- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Pr., Chariman, Photomolec. Sc., Imperial College, London- Chemistry- Grande-Bretagne *Mr. I. Prigogine- Nobel Prize (Chemistry), Pr., Dir. Inst. Intern. de Phys. et de Chim., Bruxelles- Chemistry- Belgique Mr. A. Prochiantz- Pr., Dir. of Research, CNRS, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, W.I.S.- Pharmacology- France Mr. Ichtiaque Rasool- Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena- Physics- France *Mr. Tadeus Reichstein- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr. Em., Org. Chemistry, Un. of Basel- Organic Chemistry- Suisse *Mr, Heinrich Rohrer- Nobel Prize (Physics), IBM Research Laboratory- Physics- Suisse

*Mr. Bert Sakmann- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr., Max-Planck Inst. fur Med. Forschung, Heidelberg- Cell Physiology- Allemagne *Mr. Abdus Salam- Nobel Prize (Physics), International Centre for Theoretical Physics- Italie Mr. Jonas Salk- Distinguished Pr., Dr., International Health Sciences- Biology- USA Mr. Evry Schatzman- Pr., Ac. of Sciences, France- Astrphysics- France *Mr. Arthur L. Schawlow- Nobel Prize (Physics), Stanford University- Physics- USA Mr. G. Schettler- Pr., Dr., Former President, Academy of Sciences, Heidelberg- Cardiology- Allemagne Mr. Elie A. Shneour- Pr. Dir., Biosystems Research Institute, San Diego, California- Biochemistry- USA *Mr. Kai Siegbahn- Nobel Prize (Physics)- Physics- Suede Mr. S. Fred Singer- Pr. of Environmental Sciences, Un. of Virginia, Dir. of the Washington S.E.P.P.- Environmental Sciences- USA *Mr. Richard Laurence Millington Synge- Nobel Prize (Chemistry)- Biochemistry- Grande- Bretagne Mr. G. P. Talwar- Pr. of Em., Nat. Inst. of Immunology, Ac. of Science, India, W.I.S.- Immunopathology- Inde *Mr. Jan Tinbergen- Nobel Prize (Economics)- Economics- Pays-Bas *Lord Alexander R. Todd- Nobel Prize (Chemistry)- Chemistry- Grabde-Bretagne Mr. Alvin Toffler- Author, Futurist- Futurology- USA *Mr. Charles H. Townes- Nobel Prize (Physics), W.I.S., Pr. Em of Physics, University of California, Berkeley- Physics- USA Mr. Rene Truhaut- Pr., Pharmacology, Faculte des Sciences Pharmaceutiques, Paris- Toxicology- France *Sir John R. Vane- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr., Chairman of William Harvey Research Inst., London- Endocrinology- Grande-Bretagne *Mr. Harold E. Varmus- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr. of Microbiology, Un. of California, San Francisco- Microbiology- USA *Mr. Thomas Huckle Weller- Nobe Prize (Medicine), Pr. Em., Harvard- Medicine- USA *Mr. Elie Wiesel- Nobel Prize (Peace), University of Boston- Literature- USA *Mr. Torsten N. Wiesel- Nobel Prize (Medicine), Pr., Lab. of Neurobio., Rockefeller University, New York- Neurobiology- USA *Mr. Robert W. Wilson- Nobel Prize (Physics), Head, Radio Physics Res. Dept., AT&T Bell Laboratories- Physics- USA

* Denotes Nobel Prize Winner Environmental Genetics, Un. of Cincinnati- Genetics- USA

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