Vera Kistiakowsky is an American physicist and the daughter of physical chemist George Kistiakowsky, who directed the Explosives Division at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project and later served as President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s science advisor.
Vera, who entered her first year of college at Mount Holyoke in 1944, visited her father at Los Alamos during the summer months in 1944 and 1945. When her father went off to work in the morning, Vera went horseback riding across the countryside with some of the other older children on the project.
Following the project, Vera finished college and earned her Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry under Glenn Seaborg at the University of California, Berkeley. She joined the faculty at MIT in 1963. In the late 1960s, she began advocating for the advancement of women in science. Like her father, she became concerned with issues of international security and weapons policy. She has since lectured and written on these issues and later served on the board for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.