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Nobel Peace Prize 1995 — Joseph Rotblat and the Pugwash Movement

Science for Peace organized a celebratory symposium to honour the recipients of the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize, namely Joseph Rotblat and the Pugwash Movement. The symposium was entitled “Celebrating Pugwash and Looking Ahead”. It was held on November 2, 1995 at 4 PM in the Earth Sciences Auditorium on the University of Toronto Campus.

The speakers, all of whom are members of the Pugwash Movement, included:

  1. John Polanyi, Nobel Laureate, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto

  2. Major-General (ret.) Len Johnson, President of the Canadian Pugwash Committee

  3. Eric Fawcett, President of Science for Peace, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

  4. David Bell, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

  5. John Brencaglia, great-nephew of Cyrus Eaton, the founder of the Pugwash Movement

  6. Terry Gardner, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

  7. Bob Logan, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

  8. Derek Paul, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

  9. Anatol Rapoport, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

  10. Abe Rotstein, Department of Economics, University of Toronto

  11. Metta Spencer, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

The speakers saluted Dr. Rotblat and other prominent members of the Pugwash Movement. They also related their experiences in Pugwash and described what it has meant to them. They also indicated future directions for Pugwash in addition to its traditional work in nuclear disarmament and world security. These concerns include the environment, ethnic conflict, transitional economies and the hidden costs of globalization.

The historic dimension of Pugwash was described,including the Einstein- Russell manifesto, the Dagomys declaration on the environment, the philanthropy of Cyrus Eaton and the launch of the movement in Canada in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, at the Cyrus Eaton estate in 1958.

We received greetings from Joseph Rotblat which were read to us by Eric Fawcett, expressing Joseph’s gratitude for our organizing the event. The meeting was a great success and many of the panellists expressed the sentiment that they learned new things about Pugwash. The feeling was also expressed that Pugwash and Science for Peace should sponsor more activities together.

Note: William Epstein, the representative of the Pugwash Conferences at the United Nations, reported in Disarmament Times (10 November 1995) that the Canadian Pugwash Group used the occasion of the Nobel Award to issue a statement calling on the Canadian Government “to demonstrate its commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and a nuclear-weapon-free world by publicly urging the nuclear powers and the Conference on Disarmament to work out a program for ridding the world of nuclear weapons.” (If you are interested in subscribing to Disarmament Times the address is 777 UN Plaza, Room 3-B, New York 10017 and the annual subscription is $15.)

Addendum to WWW version of Bulletin [links updated 2011-ks]. Here are links to: Press Release (October 13, 1995) announcing the prize; Pugwash (Russell-Einstein) Manifesto (July 9, 1955); Acceptance Speech by Joseph Rotblat, December 10, 1995.

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