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About the Organization

The World Federation of Scientists (WFS) was founded in Erice, Sicily, in 1973, by a group of eminent scientists led by Isidor Isaac Rabi and Antonino Zichichi. Since then, many other scientists have affiliated themselves with the Federation, among them T. D. Lee, Laura Fermi, Eugene Wigner, Paul Dirac and Piotr Kapitza.

The WFS is a free association, which has grown to include more than 10,000 scientists drawn from 110 countries. All members share the same aims and ideals and contribute voluntarily to uphold the Federation's Principles. The Federation promotes international collaboration in science and technology between scientists and researchers from all parts of the world - North, South, East and West. The Federation and its members strive towards an ideal of free exchange of information, where scientific discoveries and advances are no longer restricted to a select few. The aim is to share this knowledge among the people of all nations, so that everyone may experience the benefits of the progress of science.

The creation of the World Federation of Scientists was made possible by the existence, in Erice, of a centre for scientific culture named after the physicist Ettore Majorana, the  Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture. This Centre, which has been dubbed "The University of the Third Millennium", has attracted over 75,000 scientists from all over the world since its founding in 1963. The Ettore Majorana Centre was a precursor of the World Federation of Scientists and its action to mitigate planetary emergencies.

The World Federation of Scientists rapidly identified 15 classes of Planetary Emergencies and began to organise the fight against these threats. One of its main achievements was the drawing up of the Erice Statement, in 1982, by Paul Dirac, Piotr Kapitza and Antonino Zichichi, clearly setting out the ideals of the Federation and putting forward a set of proposals for putting these ideals into practice. Another milestone was the holding of a series of International Seminars on Nuclear War which have had a tremendous impact on reducing the danger of a planet-wide nuclear disaster and have ultimately contributed to the end of the Cold War.

In 1986, through the action of a group of eminent scientists (most of whom were members of the WFS) the International Centre for Scientific Culture ICSC-World Laboratory was founded in Geneva to help achieve the goals outlined in the Erice Statement. To achieve these, specific pilot projects have been implemented to overcome the Planetary Emergencies. The ICSC-World Laboratory works on the principle that one of the better ways of helping Developing Countries is to support the participation of their scientific elite in projects aimed at the solution of their particular problems, working in collaboration with their peers in Developed Countries and contributing to the advancement of science and human knowledge as a whole.

Other achievements have been the establishment of the Erice Prize, the Gian Carlo Wick Gold Medal Prize, the formulation of the Farnesina Statement and the Lausanne Declaration.