James C. Warf, Manhattan Project Scientist

Prof. James C. Warf, a Manhattan Project chemist, author and activist, died last week.

An early member of the Federation of American Scientists, Dr. Warf held patents on the separation of plutonium from high-level nuclear waste.  He taught chemistry at the University of Southern California for forty years, specializing in rare earth metals.  He also taught for ten years in Indonesia and Brunei and, his son recalled, he wrote the first textbooks on organic and inorganic chemistry in the Indonesian language.  He was a skilled amateur vintner and happily gave away samples of his product.

Dr. Warf also gave generously of his time and expertise to public interest groups concerned with nuclear weapons and nuclear reactor safety.  He was a fundamentally decent man.

He was remembered in “James C. Warf dies at 91; Manhattan Project chemist became peace activist, USC professor” by Claire Noland, Los Angeles Times, November 9.

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