June 15th 2011


Memoires of a Life in Physics

This book has been finished and is available in paper back at:


for purchase. Both domestic and international delivery are available but I am presently searching for a European distributor to reduce postage.
Nominal publishing date March 18th 2011

The extent of the book may be judged best by the following 4 persons who read the proof copy.


    This book is a tour de force journey of a great physicist and humanist, through some of the most turbulent times of modern civilization ranging from the great world war and its aftermath, the cold war, to present day political upheavals. Throughout that time, Dick Wilson and his political activist instincts are interwoven with the business of doing physics in a great story of human achievement and challenges. This book is a great read for both scientist and non-scientist alike and reminds us of our responsibilities as good citizens whatever our passions and ideals. Physics is life, and that makes it fun.

Andrew JM Kiruluta,
Associate Professor,
Harvard Medical School & Department of Physics, Harvard University.


    My father's memoires have given us, his children and grandchildren, a picture of his childhood, his evacuation during the war, and our grandfather's involvement with the Spiritualists. We had heard small bits of the story before, but now we have a fuller image. The chapter remembering his mother is particularly moving to me as I had always wanted to know her. Her kindness and generosity account for my father's warmth to visitors from all over the world who have come to Harvard and my parent's home.

Elaine Wilson, daughter and artist.


Dick Wilson has written a very interesting and insightful book of his life and of the politics & personalities of high energy physics. His outspokenness is fresh air to a field that has been broken much new ground but is also highly competitive and sometimes a bit mean. The fascinating and fortuitous expansion of his interests into rational risk assessment from threats as varied as nuclear power (generally safe) to arsenic in shallow wells (very bad) shows both his deep and broad interests and skills. In short, a great read by a great man!

William Anders Apollo 8 Astronaut,
Member of the Atomic Energy Commission & C
hair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, R
etired CEO General Dynamics Corp.


Richard Wilson's life has been the embodiment of Physics. He lives the subject from the most basic elemental science to the world of life and death policy. This is a book about a man, a subject and, quite simply, our modern world. It is a book worth everyone's attention.

Judith S. Palfrey, MD
T. Berry Brazelton Professor of Pediatrics,
Harvard Medical School, Master Adams House

Andree Desitree Wilson and Richard (Dick) Wilson with villagers near a well they paid for near Pabna, Bangladesh

Andree and Dick
          with villagers near a well in Pabna, Bangladesh


Andree and Dick in Baja Californa January 2000
Photograph by "Pief" Panofsky.
Dick's "Kyrghys" hat was presented to him by Presdent Askar Archiev in Harvard Phyasics Department 1003

Andree and Dick in
      Baja California, January 2--

Richard at 5 years old.  Which of the 4 scoundrels is he?