All nuclear weapon states should now recognize that this is so, and declare - in Treaty form - that they will never be the first to use nuclear weapons. This would open the way to the gradual, mutual reduction of nuclear arsenals, down to zero.
Several studies, and a number of public statements by senior military and political personalities, testify that - except for disputes between the present nuclear states - all military conflicts, as well as threats to peace, can be dealt with using conventional weapons.
If the militarily most powerful - and least threatened - states need nuclear weapons for their security, how can one deny such security to countries that are truly insecure? The present nuclear policy is a recipe for proliferation. It is a policy for disaster.
Indeed, the whole human species is endangered, by nuclear weapons or by other means of wholesale destruction which further advances in science are likely to produce.
When the START 2 treaty has been implemented - and remember it has not yet been ratified - we will be left with some 15,000 nuclear warheads, active and in reserve. Fifteen thousand weapons with an average yield of 20 Hiroshima bombs.
At a time when science plays such a powerful role in the life of society, when the destiny of the whole of mankind may hinge on the results of scientific research, it is incumbent on all scientists to be fully conscious of that role, and conduct themselves accordingly.