Alumin Photo

Morris ‘Moishe’ Pripstein (BBHS ’52)

Born: 1935, Montreal, Quebec

Upon graduating from BBHS, Morris Pripstein pursued engineering physics at McGill University, where he received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1957.  In 1962, Pripstein earned his Ph.D in experimental elementary particle physics at Berkeley in California. He conducted his research at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory where he would later become a Staff Senior Scientist and eventually a research group leader.

Since retiring from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (as LRL became known) in 2005, he has been a program director at the National Science Foundation. For two years before then, while on leave from LBNL, he held the corresponding position at the Department of Energy.

Pripstein is noted for having co-founded the SOS (Scientists for Sakharov, Orlov and Sharansky), which helped dissident scientists who were in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. In 2010, Pripstein was awarded the American Physical Society’s Andrei Sakharov Prize recognizing outstanding leadership in upholding human rights along with Herman Winick of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Joseph Birman of the City University of New York. Pripstein also won the Heinz Pagels Human Rights Award of the New York Academy of Sciences in 1998.

He has authored more than 350 publications on physics and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1991.

Hear Moishe talk about his formative years at BBHS, the neighbourhood and his career.


Guerrilla Tactics for Human Rights, Berkeley Lab. U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Managed by the University of California