Forty One American Nobel Prize laureates have <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/28/national/28NOBE.html">signed a declaration outlining opposition</a> to a preemptive war with Iraq. The laureates, all of whom received their awards in either science or economics, signed onto the agreement which argues against the U.S. starting a war that has no widespread international support. The declaration reads as follows: The undersigned oppose a preventive war against Iraq without broad international support. Military operations against Iraq may indeed lead to a relatively swift victory in the short term. But war is characterized by surprise, human loss and unintended consequences. Even with a victory, we believe that the medical, economic, environmental, moral, spiritual, political and legal consequences of an American preventive attack on Iraq would undermine, not protect, U.S. security and standing in the world." Among the signers were such people as: Hans A. Bethe, Robert Wilson, and Norman Ramsey, who were instrumental in the development of the atom bomb; Walter Kohn, a former adviser to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Pentagon; and Charles H. Townes, former research director of the Institute for Defense Analyses at the Pentagon and chairman of a federal panel that studied how to base the MX missile and its nuclear warheads. In addition to the Nobel Prize, 18 of the signers have received the National Science Medal, the highest science honor that the U.S. bestows. Dr. Kohn, the organizer of the petition, had attempted to contact all living American Nobel laureates, thought to be around 130, and had thus far been rejected outright by six. They expect more laureates to sign onto the statement over the next few days. This is not the first time that Nobel laureates have taken a stand on what is essentially a non-science public issue. Groups of laureates have lobbied previous U.S. Presidents on issues such as National Missile Defense and nuclear test bans.