Barry Commoner (born May 28, 1917) is an American biologist, college professor, and eco-socialist. He ran for president of the United States in the 1980 U.S. presidential election on the Citizens Party ticket.
Commoner was born in Brooklyn. He received his bachelor's degree in zoology from Columbia University (1937) and his master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard University (1938, 1941)." After serving as a lieutenant in the United States Navy during World War II, Commoner moved to St. Louis and became a professor of plant physiology at Washington University, where he taught for 34 years. In 1966 he founded the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems to study the science of the total environment.
During the late 1950s, Commoner became a well-known protester against nuclear testing. He went on to write several books about the negative ecological effects of above-ground nuclear testing. In 1970 he received the International Humanist Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union. His 1971 book, The Closing Circle, suggested a left-wing, eco-socialist response to the limits to growth thesis, postulating that capitalist technologies were chiefly responsible for environmental degradation, as opposed to population pressures. In 1980, he founded the Citizens Party to serve as a vehicle for his ecological message, and his candidacy for President on the Citizens Party ticket won 233,052 votes (0.27% of the total) . His official running mate was La Donna Harris, although she was replaced on the ballot in Ohio by Wretha Hanson.(PDF)