Contribute to the Alvin Weinberg Memorial Fund

The Alvin Weinberg Memorial Fund was created to promote the memory and the contributions of Dr. Weinberg, who gave much of his life to the advancement of nuclear energy. As director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for 18 years and director of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Institute for Energy Analysis for 10 years, Weinberg saw nuclear energy as a key to growth and promoted the development of new ideas and practical applications. He strongly believed that the use of radioisotopes in medicine and research was the most important contribution of ORNL.

A number of memorials have been proposed to commemorate Weinberg’s contributions to Oak Ridge and the nuclear industry. To make a contribution to the memorial efforts listed below, please go to our memorial fund contributions page today. All contributions are tax deductible.

Film Biography

Weinberg was recognized for his ability to foresee events and national needs. His writings helped lay the foundation for nuclear science and its applications. He had broad influence on environmental issues. He also had a positive impact on the careers of a number of people. To date, sadly, there is no coherent, comprehensive summary of his career for either the public or scientific professionals.

An hour-long, biographical documentary film (DVD) covering Weinberg’s career by award-winning filmmaker Keith McDaniel (Secret City: The Oak Ridge Story; The Clinton 12) is planned. It will contain interviews with family members, professional associates and leading scientists, along with film footage of Weinberg, historical and current footage, and historical photos.

The film will be produced in high definition with a nationally known narrator and will be of sufficient quality to be shown nationally on PBS and the History Channel. It will be distributed to university libraries, selected public libraries, museums and high schools. The DVD will be sold online through Amazon.com and TheSecretCityStore.com, in the American Museum of Science and Energy Discovery Shop, and elsewhere locally. The cost of production is $110,000. All contributors will be recognized, and those contributing a significant amount will be mentioned as underwriters at the beginning of the film.

Lecture and Workshop Series

During his career, Weinberg had a close working relationship and friendship with Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., of Tennessee. The Howard Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee features education and research in public policy areas to which Alvin made important contributions, including energy, the environment, big science, and the integration of science and technology with social and economic needs.

An annual Alvin Weinberg Distinguished Lecture and Workshop series is planned that will concentrate on topics relevant to his career and to the needs of the Baker Center. The events will be national and international in scope and participation, and the Baker Center will publish the materials and products.

Funding of $20,000 is needed for the first annual event. Subsequent events will be supported by the Baker Center as regular programs.

Bronze Relief Plaques

During his early career with the Manhattan Project, Weinberg collaborated with Eugene Wigner, Nobel Prize winner, on the design of the Graphite Reactor, a National Historic Landmark at ORNL. To honor his contributions to the Reactor and to the entire nuclear profession, three bronze relief plaques have been produced with Weinberg's likeness and one of his famous quotations.

The three plaques are displayed in prominent locations. One is at the Graphite Reactor where over 1500 visitors come each year on the DOE Public Tours of the Oak Ridge Reservation. A second plaque is at ORAU, where Weinberg spent his career after 1973. The third plaque is in the Manhattan Project display at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, where over 100,000 visitors come each year.