Johns Hopkins


Nearly 50 U.S. universities are involved in the research and design of U.S. nuclear weapons, largely in secret and in contradiction of their mission statements. Students and faculty must demand their universities stop helping to build weapons of mass destruction.

Johns Hopkins University receives more than twice as much funding from the Department of Defense than any other university due to the work of its Applied Physics Laboratory; in 2019 the funding ceiling for its ongoing contract was extended beyond $7 billion. This work includes research for the U.S. military’s nuclear weapons systems, despite the fact that the university’s mission statement includes the call “to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.”


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More detail about Johns Hopkins University’ involvement

Johns Hopkins has a “university affiliated research center” for the Department of Defense that participates directly in nuclear weapons development called the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Started in 1942, the Applied Physics Laboratory takes up 453 acres in its off-campus location. Its stated goal is “to create defining innovations that ensure our nation’s preeminence in the 21st century.” This stands in contrast to the mission of the university overall: “To educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.”


Due in large part to the laboratory, Johns Hopkins University received $828 million in research and development grants from DoD in FY2017, more than twice as much as any other American university. It has been the site of repeated protests in previous decades. For example, in 1995 a Catholic nun and peace activist served a 30-day jail sentence for refusing to stop passing out leaflets on the lab’s campus when asked to leave.


The Applied Physics Laboratory received a renewed 7-year contract in 2017 for up to $92 million “for continuing the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center’s (AFNWC) strategic partnership.” This is only one piece of the lab’s work; in 2019, the funding ceiling for its ongoing multi-year contract with the Department of Defense was extended beyond $7 billion.


Johns Hopkins’ classified research policy creates a distinction between the laboratory and the rest of campus. While classified research is generally not allowed, the policy explicitly exempts the Applied Physics Laboratory as the only “non-academic division.”


For more information, including references, you can read the full report.