Sidney D. Drell

(1926 – 2016)

Sidney D. Drell is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a professor of theoretical physics emeritus at SLAC, where he served as deputy director from 1969 until retiring in 1998. Drell received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his PhD in physics from the University of Illinois in 1949. In 2006, together with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Drell initiated a program at the Hoover Institution to develop practical steps toward achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. An arms control specialist, he has advised the U.S. government on technical national security and defense issues since 1960 when JASON, a group of academic scientists, was created to work on such problems. 

He has served as a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the President’s Science Advisory Committee, and as chair or member of a number of panels advising Congress, the military and the intelligence community. From 1983 to 1989, he was the founding co-director of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Arms Control.

Drell has received numerous awards, including the 2011 National Medal of Science for his contributions to quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics and for his application of science to inform public policy in national security and intelligence; the Enrico Fermi Award, the nation's oldest and most prestigious award in science; a prize fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation; and the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. He was one of 10 scientists honored as “founders of national reconnaissance as a space discipline” by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, and was also elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Sidney Drell's biography page from SLAC's Archives & History Office