Professor R. Scott Kemp

R. Scott Kemp is the MIT Class of '43 Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, and director of the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy.

Scott's research combines physics, politics, and history to identify options for addressing societal problems in the areas of nuclear weapons and energy. He is currently developing technical tools for reconstructing the histories of secret nuclear-weapon programs. Other current work includes the information theory of treaty verification, and technical threats to nuclear-deterrence stability. He teaches primarily in the area of energy policy, with a focus on the electricity sector and technology-society interactions; and is an academic advisor for students in the MIT Energy Studies Program.

In 2010 and 2011, Scott served as Science Advisor in the U.S. State Department's Office of the Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control where he was responsible for framing the technical negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. He has also served on the American Physical Society's Panel on Public Affairs and is author of the society's position statement on the Earth's Changing Climate.

Scott received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in Public and International Affairs, and did undergraduate work in physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received the Sloan Research Fellowship in Physics, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Active Research Projects

  • Radiation Fingerprinting for Nuclear Archeology
  • Detection of Trace Effluents from Nuclear Facilities
  • Strategic Stability Threats from SAR and UUAVs
  • Physical Cryptographic Warhead Verification

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)