Ernest Moniz, Richard Rhodes at UChicago on Dec. 1, bus provided

This Friday, Dec. 1, the University of Chicago will host a special program to mark the 75th anniversary of the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction, successfully conducted by a group led by Enrico Fermi. You are welcome to attend! UChicago will provide a bus to take people from Fermilab to the university and back.

The series of talks and panels includes a closing keynote address by former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. Also speaking is author Richard Rhodes, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Making of the Atomic Bomb.”

Events run from 1:30-7 p.m. on campus, including a reception from 6-7 p.m. The full schedule of Dec. 1 events is online and below. RSVP to to register and reserve your spot on the bus.


Noon bus departs Fermilab for the University of Chicago

1:30 p.m.
Program begins at Reynolds Club, 5706 S. University Avenue

1:50–2:20 p.m.
Opening keynote address delivered by Richard Rhodes, independent historian

2:20–3:10 p.m.
Panel One: The Role of Nuclear Energy in a Climate Constrained World
Moderator: Gretchen Helfrich, civil rights attorney and former host of “Odyssey” on Chicago Public Radio
Chris Crane, president and CEO, Exelon
Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman professor in economics, the College, and the Harris School, University of Chicago; director, Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics; director, Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC); faculty; director, Energy & Environment Lab at University of Chicago’s Urban Labs

3:10–4:00 p.m.
Panel Two: The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the Modern World
Moderator: Gretchen Helfrich
Dennis Blair, chairman of Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA
Madelyn Creedon, former principal deputy director National Nuclear Security Administrator, U.S. Department of Energy

4:00–4:15 p.m.
Break with light snacks and beverages

4:15–4:30 p.m.
World Premiere of “Plea for Peace” by Augusta Read Thomas,
Composer; University of Chicago professor of composition in the Department of Music and the College

4:30–5:20 p.m.
Panel Three: The Role of Nuclear Medicine in the World of Modern Healthcare
Moderator: Gretchen Helfrich
Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, professor and chair, Department of Radiology, Stanford University
Martin G. Pomper, Henry N. Wagner, Jr., professor of radiology, The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins Medical School

5:20–6 p.m.
Closing Keynote Address by Ernest Moniz, former United States Secretary of Energy, Nuclear Physicist, and Co-Chair and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

6-7 p.m.

7 p.m.
Bus departs from UChicago to Fermilab


Reactions: New Perspectives on Our Nuclear Legacy” is a two-day series of public events that closes out the university’s months-long commemoration of the 1942 experiment. For those interested, an arts-focused program takes place at the university on Dec. 2. It includes a spectacular pyrotechnics event by Cai Guo-Qiang.