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Pugwash Conferences

PUGWASH CONFERENCES

PUGWASH CONFERENCES. Summoned by an appeal from Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell to work against the danger of nuclear war, twenty-two of the world's leading scientists attended a Conference on Science and World Affairs at Pugwash, Nova Scotia, in July 1957. Meeting at least annually thereafter and supported by philanthropist Cyrus S. Eaton, the loose association of scholars and public figures from both sides in the Cold War created an informal avenue for the exchange of ideas designed to combat the arms race and reduce the risk of international conflict. Whether high government officials or eminent academics, participants met as private individuals, not as representatives of their respective countries, and spoke off the record. Their conversations may have contributed to the realization of such arms control initiatives as the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963, the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972, the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, and the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. In 1995, the Pugwash Conference and Joseph Rotblat, a Manhattan Project physicist who helped organize the first and subsequent meetings, jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize.


Since the Cold War, the Pugwash Conferences have broadened their concerns to include environmental and development issues. By the year 2000, some 10,000 people had attended Pugwash meetings.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Blackaby, Frank. A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Steps Along the Way. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.

Ferry, Georgina. Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life. London: Granta Books, 1998.

Max PaulFriedman

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Pugwash conferences

Pugwash conferences a series of international conferences first held in Pugwash (a village in Nova Scotia) in 1957 by scientists to promote the peaceful application of scientific discoveries.

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