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From the Editor

When Science for Peace was founded in 1981 the threat of a general nuclear war seemed very real. This threat has now receded, but it would be foolish to suppose that it has disappeared. The disintegration of the Soviet Union has actually increased the number of sovereign states in possession of nuclear weapons, and several other countries now possess the technology to produce these weapons, some of whom will probably do so. At the same time the seemingly endless tragedy in the Balkans, and the horrible events occurring in Rwanda even as I write, make it abundantly clear that war is a hideous business even when waged with the simplest weapons.

Furthermore most people would consider peace in the truest sense to be not simply the absence of war but a state of security, prosperity and happiness throughout the world. If this is ever to be attained it will be necessary to take into account many aspects of the relationships between nations, not simply armed conflict. It will also require careful consideration of a wide range of economic, social and environmental questions both within individual counties and on a global scale. We believe that Science for Peace has a very significant role to play in this. Our membership includes specialists in a wide range of scientific disciplines so we are in a position to provide expert opinion and informed advice to the public and the government on many of the urgent questions of our time.

Unfortunately our resources are meagre. By the end of last year our liquid assets were exhausted. Contributions from members are absolutely vital if we are even to maintain an office, let alone support the various projects that we would like undertake. If you have not yet paid your membership dues, we implore you to do so without further delay. It would also help us a great deal if you could bring Science for Peace to the attention of your friends, colleagues and students and suggest that they might like to join us.

May spring be a time of hope for us all.

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