25 Years of Science for Peace

Science for Peace has just passed its 25th anniversary, 17 March 2006. To mark it, 32 people attended an informal celebration in Toronto, and another 24 sent regrets or congratulatory messages.

If Science for Peace is to continue its contributions to society, its members will need to reflect upon the state of the world, which is by no means all bad. Newton Bowles, in his latest book, The Diplomacy of Hope reports on the many successes of the United Nations, though nobody would deny the problems the UN faces. David Suzuki and Holly Dressel managed to fill their entire book, Good News for a Change, with positive things that are happening.

However, many trends are still continuing in the wrong direction: the unchecked growth of consumption in prosperous societies, leading to climate change and eventual shortage of essential resources; burgeoning populations in a few countries that cannot sustain the new mouths they must feed; overarming of militaristic states, maintenance of nuclear arsenals and wasteful military adventures endangering all of us, the continuing tendency of men and male-led organizations and countries to want to dominate rather than cooperate; the widening gap betweeen the richest and the poorest, and the increase of AIDS, to name only a few.

Science for Peace provides a counter-effort, as represented by the continuation of its Working Groups, its new projects, and its links with education and government. The greatest service our members can render is to contribute to the operation of SfP with their time and money and, above all, to persuade their scientific and scholarly friends to join Science for Peace so as to ensure that its work will increase in effectiveness.

Two new projects are currently getting started: The Corporatization of Universities; and The Global Issues Project. A first conference on the topic of Corporatization has already taken place in Guelph, in March of this year. Watch for reports from this project. The Global Issues Project is embarking on a series of roundtables on crucial world issues. Their brochure is available from farp@sympatico.ca and will soon be put on our website. Volunteer your time.

This is not the moment to ask whether SfP should be doing more for its membership, but rather, each member might well ask, “What can I do for peace, justice and toward a sustainable Earth?”