I joined FSA because they were working for arms control; in particular the control of nuclear weapons. They are still very active in this area. They are also concerned with biosecurity. They have been working with emerging technologies and building teaching games and simulations for students. Some of these simulations are quite amazing. They have one on circulation. They get the input of scientists in order to make the simulations as scientifically accurate as possible. They have also been working with new building technology, especially with respect to inexpensive earthquake proof buildings. They are build several of these building in the earthquake zones in Turkey for proof of concept.
The FAS has a remarkable record of working on important policy issues way before they become "hot" in the media--for example, the Small Arms project and the Government Secrecy project. Their analyses are top-notch and balanced.
FAS' intelligence blog is one of the best in the business -- it was critical to our business' success, by finding underreported stories and bringing them to light.
I am not a "joiner," but I felt that the FAS has done an exceptional job of dealing with the critical issues of our time that I would make an exception. Other organizations of scientists have been co-opted by people with poltical agendas, sometimes to the point of being run by individuals who are not even scientists. I am happy to participate in the FAS.
The FAS has been a significant force in maintaining awareness of the potentially catastrophic misuse of nuclear weapons by governments or terrorists. It has maintained communications with scientists all over the world, even when diplomatic relations are difficult. More reecently, efforts have expanded to other WMD, specifically the control of potential bio-weapons. Because of the diverse expertise of its members, FAS has also supported advanced research in applying digital technology to science education, and applying science to the development of superior low cost construction materials for housing. While the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons has not yet been achieved, FAS has been instrumental in convincing governments not to use nuclear weapons in conflict situations.