J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee Celebrates 50 Years With Exhibits And Talks

J. Robert Oppenheimer/Courtesy photo


The J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee (JROMC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a library exhibit, a panel discussion, and two talks—all honoring its namesake, the founder of Los Alamos National Laboratory and its community.

Opening the celebration is a panel discussion on “The Magic of the Pajarito Plateau” on Monday, March 21, at 7 p.m., live-streamed by Zoom or in person at the planetarium of co-sponsor PEEC (Pajarito Environmental Education).  Panelists are geologist Fraser Goff, Cultural Resources Advisor Tim Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo), Historian of Science Elliot Schultz (LANL), and Archaeologist Ali Livesay (LANL).  They will discuss what makes the Plateau so special and why Oppenheimer chose it for the Manhattan Project.  Visit www.peecnature.org/events to register.

 “A Legacy of Learning: the 50th Anniversary of the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee,” a multi-faceted exhibit, will show at the Step Up Gallery at Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos from Thursday, March 24 through April 24.  Co-sponsored with the Los Alamos Historical Society, this exhibit will display some never-before-seen photographs and artifacts highlighting JROMC’s 50 hears of accomplishments:  its memorial lecturers, scholarship recipients, Oppenheimer’s life and character, and even his wife Kitty’s life.  

Come see Oppenheimer’s pork-pie hat and office chair, take our “Do You Know” quiz, work on a jigsaw puzzle of the Groves and Oppenheimer statues, or pose next to a life-size cut-out of Oppenheimer. On opening night, join us for refreshments from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

In April the JROMC will also host a talk by Alan B. Carr, Senior LANL Historian, titled “Manhattan, The View from Los Alamos of History’s Most Secret Project.”  Sponsored jointly with the Los Alamos Historical Society, it will take place on April 4 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Duane Smith Auditorium in Los Alamos.

Finally, the renowned historian James W. Kunetka will lecture on “Los Alamos: Robert Oppenheimer’s Greatest Legacy” on April 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Duane Smith Auditorium in Los Alamos, co-sponsored with the Los Alamos Historical Society.   Kunetka is a well-known lecturer and Oppenheimer biographer: The General and the Genius; Oppenheimer: The Years of Risk; and City of Fire: Los Alamos and the Birth of the Atomic Age, 1943-1945.

Founded in 1971, the JROMC honors the intellectual and ethical legacy of Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan Project.  We have raised money for an Oppenheimer sculpture, annual lectures by internationally significant speakers, providing academic scholarships to students from Los Alamos, Pojoaque, and Santa Fe high schools, and promoting science education in other ways such as the Science Fair.  We rely on financial support from community donors.

All these events are free and open to the public.  For more information, visit http://www.jromc.org.