Greek-born antinuclear campaigner and longtime MIT professor Kostas Tsipas passed away on Monday, according to an announcement by former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.
The longtime fixture in the antinuclear movement was a retired principal research scientist and former director of the Program in Science and Technology for International Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tsipis came to the United States in 1954 to study electrical engineering and physics, earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in high-energy particle physics from Columbia University.
Working in the Physics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1966 until the present, Tsipis served until the time of his death as the Director of the Program in Science & Technology for International Security, which he co-founded in 1977.
With his particular interest in limiting the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons, his work was focused on the effects of nuclear detonations and nuclear war. He conducted technical analyses of modern weapons systems including particle beam and laser weapons, and cruise missiles.
Tsipis wrote four books, with the last titled “New Technologies, Defense Policy, and Arms Control.” Throughout his long career he authored more than 70 scientific papers and edited seven other books on these topics.
His life was given over to informing and educating the general public about technical and scientific issues of defense policy and arms control, receiving the American Physical Society Leo Szilard Award for his efforts in this field.
Dr. Tsipis was a member of the Board of Directors of the Council for a Livable World, the “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”, the Peace Research and European Security Studies Institute in Stuttgart.
He was also the founder and Chairman of the Board of the Greek Institute for International and Strategic Studies. He served as scientific advisor to the Committee for East West Accord, Physicians for Social Responsibility (Boston), the Council on Economic Priorities, the World Council of Churches.
His expertise was also lent to The Center for War, Peace and the News Media, and the Greek government. He was a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the New York Academy of Science.
His death was announced by former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in a Tweet on Monday afternoon.
Ένας φίλος, ο καθηγητής του ΜΙΤ, Κώστας Τσίπης, σπουδαίος άνθρωπος και επιστήμονας, με όραμα για την Ελλάδα, έφυγε από κοντά μας. Αφιέρωσε μεγάλο μέρος της ζωής του στην έρευνα για τη στήριξη της πατρίδας, αφιλοκερδώς. Παράδειγμα ευγένειας και προσφοράς. Καλό ταξίδι, Κώστα.
— George A. Papandreou (@GPapandreou) November 9, 2020