Richard Garwin is IBM Fellow Emeritus at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York. After three years on the faculty of the University of Chicago, he joined IBM Corporation in 1952, and was until June 1993 IBM Fellow at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York; Adjunct Research Fellow in the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Columbia University. In addition, he is a consultant to the U.S. government on matters of military technology, arms control, etc. He has been Director of the IBM Watson Laboratory, Director of Applied Research at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and a member of the IBM Corporate Technical Committee. He has also been Professor of Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. From 1994 to 2004 he was Philip D. Reed Senior Fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York.
He has made contributions in the design of nuclear weapons, in instruments and electronics for research in nuclear and low-temperature physics, in the establishment of the nonconservation of parity and the demonstration of some of its striking consequences, in computer elements and systems, including superconducting devices, in communication systems, in the behavior of solid helium, in the detection of gravitational radiation, and in military technology. He has published more than 500 papers and been granted 45 U.S. patents. He has testified to many Congressional committees on matters involving national security, transportation, energy policy and technology, and the like. He is coauthor of many books, among them Nuclear Weapons and World Politics (1977), Nuclear Power Issues and Choices (1977), Energy: The Next Twenty Years (1979), Science Advice to the President (1980), Managing the Plutonium Surplus: Applications and Technical Options (1994), Feux Follets et Champignons Nucleaires (1997) (in French with Georges Charpak), and Megawatts and Megatons: A Turning Point in the Nuclear Age? (2001) (with Georges Charpak).
He was a member of the President's Science Advisory Committee 1962-65 and 1969-72, and of the Defense Science Board 1966-69. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, of the IEEE, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Philosophical Society. In 2002 he was elected again to the Council of the National Academy of Sciences.
His work for the government has included studies on antisubmarine warfare, new technologies in health care, sensor systems, military and civil aircraft, and satellite and strategic systems, from the point of view of improving such systems as well as assessing existing capabilities. For example, he contributed to the first U.S. photographic reconnaissance satellite program, CORONA, that returned 3 million feet of film from almost 100 successful flights 1960-1972.
He has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Group to the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff and was in 1998 a Commissioner on the 9-person "Rumsfeld" Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States. From 1993 to August 2001, he chaired the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board of the Department of State. On the 40th anniversary of the founding of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) he was recognized as one of the ten Founders of National Reconnaissance. In June, 2002, he was awarded la Grande Medaille de l'Academie des Sciences (France)-2002.