AHF Event: Joseph Rotblat & the Pugwash Conferences

AHF Event: Joseph Rotblat & the Pugwash Conferences

Joseph Rotblat

The Atomic Heritage Foundation is pleased to partner with the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and the Federation of American Scientists to host the event, “Joseph Rotblat and the Pugwash Conferences.”

The event will take place on Tuesday, June 5, from 10 am until 12 pm, in room 213 at 1957 E St. NW, Washington, DC. The program will focus on the life and legacy of nuclear physicist Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005); his dedication to world peace and reducing the threat of nuclear weapons as the founder and driving force behind the international Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs for six decades. The program will consider the Pugwash Conferences’ contributions to ending the Cold War and reducing the nuclear threat in the post-Cold War world today

The program will feature: Dr. Andrew Brown, radiation oncologist and author of the recent biography, Keeper of the Nuclear Conscience: The Life and Work of Joseph Rotblat; Dr. John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and former chair of the Executive Committee of Pugwash (he delivered the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance lecture on behalf of Pugwash in 1995); Dr. Matthew Evangelista, professor of history and political science at Cornell University and author of Unarmed Forces: The Transnational Movement to End the Cold War; and Dr. Steve Miller, Director of the International Security Program at Harvard University and a co-chair of the U.S. Pugwash Committee.

In researching his biography, Andrew Brown had unprecedented access to Rotblat’s private papers. Brown will talk about Rotblat’s boyhood in Warsaw during the trauma of World War I and rising anti-Semitism afterwards; his narrow escape to England in 1939 and role in the early British atomic project; his early defection from the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos; and his lifelong devotion to the furtherance of peace.

John Holdren will talk about his personal relationship with Rotblat and participation in the Pugwash Conferences beginning in the early 1970s. Upon Rotblat’s death, Holdren remarked: ”We have lost a towering figure in the struggle for world peace. Joseph Rotblat was one of a kind: brilliant, eloquent, tireless, demanding, impatient, completely committed to the pursuit of a saner, safer world for all its inhabitants.”

Matthew Evangelista will examine the unheralded influence of the Pugwash Conferences on the course of the Cold War, helping to prevent a nuclear showdown and nudge the USSR and US governments towards a more peaceful coexistence.

Director of the International Security Program at Harvard University’s Belfer Center, Steven Miller will talk about the role of the Pugwash Conferences today. Miller serves as co-chair of the U.S. Pugwash Committee and is a member of the Council of International Pugwash.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact the Atomic Heritage Foundation at (202) 293-0045 or at info@atomicheritage.org.

We look forward to seeing you there!