Historical Content Note: The following material is reprinted from publications from throughout Fermilab's history. It should be read in its original historical context.

Policy Statement on Human Rights

It will be the policy of the National Accelerator Laboratory to seek the achievement of its scientific goals within a framework of equal employment opportunity and of a deep dedication to the fundamental tenets of human rights and dignity.

We have seen the creation of NAL near Chicago in a year of social tension and urban unrest, and we have observed the destiny of our Laboratory to be linked to the long history of neglect of the problems of minority groups. We intend that the formation of the Laboratory shall be a positive force in the progress toward open housing in the vicinity of the Laboratory site. We intend that it shall also make a real contribution toward providing employment opportunities for minority groups. For this, the principle of equal opportunity is not enough. Special opportunity must be provided to the educationally deprived if they are to be able to exploit their inherent potential to contribute to, and to benefit from, the development of our Laboratory. This is a matter of personal conviction as well as of practical necessity. We expect to create conditions for special opportunity by adopting aggressive employment practices and by instituting special educational and apprentice training programs.

Prejudice has no place in the pursuit of knowledge. Perhaps this is why most scientists are sensitive to discrimination in any form. The National Accelerator Laboratory is in a position to attract to its program some of the greatest physicists, not only of this country but of other nations as well. Thus the Laboratory will be, in a very real sense, one of the windows through which the United States will be viewed by the rest of the world. Foreign visitors, laymen as well as scientists, will come to the Laboratory for short periods of time to observe, and for extended periods to participate in our work. These men will come from varied backgrounds with a variety of beliefs. It is essential that the Laboratory provide an environment in which both its staff and its visitors can live and work with pride and dignity.

In any conflict between technical expediency and human rights, we shall stand firmly on the side of human rights. This stand is taken because of, rather than in spite of, a dedication to science. However, such a conflict should never arise. Our support of the rights of members of minority groups in our Laboratory and in its environs is inextricably intertwined with our goal of creating a new center of technical and scientific excellence. The latter cannot be achieved unless we are successful in the former.

Robert Rathbun Wilson
Edwin L. Goldwasser

March 15, 1968