SfP Bulletin April 1986

Full text version of all articles from SfP Bulletin April 1986. A PDF edition is also available.

Annual General Meeting 1986

Toronto, Ontario April 1, 1986

To the Members of Science for Peace: Official Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Members shall be held on May 10, 1986 at 2 pm in the Combination Room, Trinity College, at the University of Toronto, 6 Hoskin Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1.

To be considered are reports of the executive officers, including the annual financial report and recommendations from the Board of Directors, and such other matters as the members may choose to present for discussion. Election of the Board of Directors for the year ending March 31, 1987 will close the Annual General Meeting.

Immediately following the Annual Meeting of Members, the new Board will organize and elect the executive officers for the year.

John Dove, Secretary

President's Corner

As far as we know,the first out­standing scientist to devote his talents to the design and development of weapons was Archimedes. It is said that the Romans besieging Syracuse expressed dismay whenever one of Archimedes’ engines of war such as a new model of a catapult came into view. “Here comes that damned geometer again,” they are reported to have grumbled. When the city was taken, a Roman soldier killed Archimedes, so the story goes, but not for his contributions to the war effort of the enemy. The soldier is reported to have given him an order which Archi­medes, engrossed in a problem, ignored.

There was a time when a scientist could feel justifiably proud for con­tributing to the security of his city or country by solving problems rela­ted to defence. For the meaning of defence was unambiguous, and so was the identity of the enemy who came to the gates or invaded the country, looting and killing. The defenders fought these enemies. If they succeeded, the enemies were driven away; looting and massacres stopped for a while.

There was a time when profes­sional warriors looked askance at weapons that killed at a distance. The knight did not regard the bow and arrow as a “fair weapon”. The sword knew where it struck, the arrow did not. But fair play was no match for technology. Fire arms came to stay. For some time artillery was used almost apologetically. Throughout the eighteenth century cannon were placed to the left of the main body of fighting men to indicate that it was not to occupy a place of honour. It was Napoleon who promoted artillery to “Queen of Battle”. But already in the seventeenth century rationaliza­tions of this new terror weapon appeared. A Captain Michael Mieth in the service of the Emperor wrote in 1683:

Before the discovery of gunpow­der, both the Indies were in the jaws of hellish Satan and in the very darkest obscurity, more like cattle or wild beasts in customs and beliefs than like reasonable creatures of the Great God. Gun­nery has been the only means by which the command of Christ could be performed (Luke 14:23- ‘Urge them to come in that My house may become full.’)1

Paradoxically, rationalizations as well as gross distortions of rea­lity are evidence that the voice of conscience is not yet dead. The con­temporary admirers of Adolf Hitler who deny that the Holocaust ever hap­pened thereby recognize the evil: if Hitler was a hero, he couldn’t have condoned the slaughter. When reality is not distorted, the victims must be dehumanized. One way or another, one’s admiration of or commitment to evil must be reconciled with remnants of human feeling.

The image of the adversary as an Evil Empire is a manifestation of the same need to reconcile deliberate preparations of the final holocaust with one’s dormant but not yet extin­guished responsibility as a human being, in particular as a scientist. In a recent exchange of views in Physics Today one enthusiast of Star Wars wrote:

“from our point of view, there is no such thing as a good poli­tical relationship with the Soviet Union….War is the norm, not the ‘abnorm’ for them They are convinced intellectual­ly, politically, and theologically, that the only way for Mother Russia to be safe is for her to be totally in control of the world. All other peoples must be subservient to Mother Russia….The Soviet view comes centuries in the past and nes centuries into the future…”2

Once the adversary is dehumanized the voice of conscience is stilled. Or else one resorts to denial. Here is Colin S. Gray’s comment on the con­tention that nuclear war would be a catastrophe unparalleled in human history:

“Nuclear war may or may not be a catastrophe unparalleled in world history,but it is unlikely to be the functional equivalent of the cataclysmic biblical flood, notwithstanding the recent claim advanced by some scientists to the effect that nuclear war would probably trig­ger climatic changes that could be fatal to life on earth. The new apocalypse vision is of the nuclear winter. In the thir­teenth and fourteenth centuries the Mongols and the bubonic pla­gue were viewed in much the same eschatological terms in which many people today view nuclear war. These visitations from God were terrible, but mankind re­mained in business. As Herman Kahn sought to establish more than twenty years ago, catastrophes can come in different sizes.”3

Dehumanization of the adversary and distortion (or denial) of reality are not the only ways of coming to terms with conscience. There is a third way – simply shutting the world of people out of one’s sphere of vision. One can escape into a modern equivalent of the monastery – the war research laboratory, a world as in­spiring to a certain type of young, brilliant scientist of today as the world of fasting, prayer and ascetic self-denial must have been to the anchorites of another age. A vivid and frightening view of these devo­tees of death technology is given by William J. Broad in Star Warriors, subtitled, “A penetrating look into the lives of young scientists behind our space age weaponry”. These young scientists have cut themselves off from the world of ordinary human con­cerns. Broad writes:

“…The fabric of friendship ex­tended even in the language they spoke. Classified projects led to classified jokes. After a while,the young scientists began to be cut off from the spontaneity of the outside world… It was like the Gulag… High-tech Gulags such as 0 group are se­ductive. The prisoners are there of their own accord, ser­ving both science and war, creating in order to destroy, part of an elite, yet pawns in a terrifying game…”

There is an account of how a young scientist and his girl friend drifted apart. It was weaponry that broke them up.

“My view of weapons has changed,” Peter recalled. “Until 1980 or so I didn’t want to have anything to do with nuclear anything. Back in those days I thought there was something fundamentally evil about weapons. Now I see it as an interesting physics problem.”

Success and proximity to power must have played a major part in the young scientist’s conversion (or se­duction). Peter’s devices worked.

“All power corrupts,” said Lord Acton. “Nothing fails like success,” said Kenneth Boulding.

1 Cited in S. Vagts, A History Of Militarism, pp. 44-45. ^

2 Correspondence section in Physics Today, February, 1986. ^

3 Wm. J. Broad, Star Warriors, Simon & Schuster, 1985. ^


Exploding the Bomb

(Known nuclear tests. 1945-1985)

1945 3 0 0 0 0 0
1946 2 0 0 0 0 0
1947 0 0 0 0 0 0
1948 3 0 0 0 0 0
1949 0 I 0 0 0 0
1950 0 0 0 0 0 0
1951 16 2 1 0 0 0
1952 10 0 0 0 0 0
1953 11 4 2 0 0 0
1954 6 7 0 0 0 0
1955 18 5 0 0 0 0
1956 18 9 6 0 0 0
1957 32 15 7 0 0 0
1958 77 29 5 0 0 0
1959 0 0 0 0 0 0
1960 0 0 0 3 0 0
1961 10 50 0 2 0 0
1962 96 44 2 1 0 0
1963 43 0 0 3 0 0
1964 29 6 1 3 1 0
195 29 9 1 4 1 0
1966 40 15 0 1 3 0
1967 29 16 0 3 2 0
1968 39 13 0 5 1 0
1969 29 15 0 0 2 0
1970 33 13 0 8 1 0
1971 15 20 0 5 1 0
1972 15 22 0 3 2 0
1973 12 14 0 5 1 0
1974 12 20 1 7 1 1
1976 17 15 0 2 1 0
1976 15 17 1 4 4 0
1977 12 18 0 6 1 0
1978 16 27 2 8 3 0
1979 15 29 1 9 0 0
1980 14 21 3 13 1 0
1981 16 21 1 12 0 0
1982 18 31 1 6 0 0
1983 17 27 1 7 2 0
1984 17 27 2 8 2 0
1985 15 8 1 8 0 0
Total 799 570 39 141 30 1

Since 1962 British underground nuclear teats have been conducted jointly with the Unded States es Nevada.

Source: U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council

Message To Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary Of The Communist Party Of The Soviet Union:

Toronto, March 25

The initiatives taken by your government to stop and reverse the arms race and particularly to prevent the development of new weapons have raised the hopes of humanity. The negotiation of a comprehensive test ban preceded by the withholding of further tests and accompanied by a willingness to consider new approa­ches to verification represents, in the view of the undersigned, the key to reversing the drift to disaster that threatens us all.

We hope that pending a considered response by the Western democracies, you will not be provoked to change your course by the refusal so far by the United States to resume negotia­tions for a comprehensive test ban, which is essential to end the arms race.

George Ignatieff, John Polanyi, Anatol Rapoport


Michael Lanphier represented SfP at an information meeting sponsored by the Soviet Peace Committee in Moscow March 15-16. His notes on the meeting are available in full from the national office. Some interesting items from the report:

The (USSR) Inst. of US – Canada Studies is closely linked with the decision – making powers within the USSR. There are 300 employees, 2/3 of whom are professionals.One section only deals with Canada – about 20 people. The Soviets perceive Canada in its sub – or sub-subcontracting status via a Via the USA and see many involvements between the two coun­tries as not subject to political decision.

The USSR was not invited to par­ticipate in France’s Eureka program – question: are there military spin­offs expected?

Problems of inspection and veri­fication re chemical weapons: USSR has only public “factories” which are open for inspection. US and western Europe use “private business” con­tractors – there must be agreement to declassify “industrial secrets“before equal access for inspection would exist.

Nominating Committee Report

At the board meeting March 25 the nominating committee made the following interim report. It is published here at the request of the committee so that members may make additions or corrections before the final report is made to the AGM.

We recommend that the execu­tive operate in such a manner as to separate clearly the roles of policy-making and administration;

That in addition to the BOD, a council be established consisting

principally of past board members.The Council would constitute a “talent pool” for the board. Council members would be welcome at all board meetings;

That each Chapter nominate at least one member of the BOD, and that the following Chapter officers stand for the BOO for 1986-87:

T. Joshi, ST.F.X.; Philip Ehren­saft, Michael Horwmod, Quebec; G.P. Semeluk, Margarida Krause, New Bruns­wick, David Roulston, Cynthia Folzer, Frank Thompson, Waterloo. Chapter officers to remain on the Board are M. Pearson, Quebec; Israel Unger,New Brunswick; A.B. Mingarelli, Ottawa; James Gardner, Waterloo; George Spiegelman, Luis Sobrino, Michael Wallace, B.C.; Eric Fawcett, Toronto.

All Nominations should be sent to Committee Chairman Lynn Trainor, Physics Dept., U.of Toronto,or to the national office.


Conference on Accidental Nuclear War, May 26-30, 1986 UBC, Vancouver


Science for Peace Ottawa, as announced in the March BULLETIN, is sponsoring awards at the annual Youth Science Fair this year. Judges are Angelo Mingarelli, James Neelin and Wm. McGowan, all officers and members of the chapter. Like New Brunswick they offer both a junior and a senior prize.

The two chapters will extend their experience to the establishment of national prizes next year. It is reported that there will be a Science for Peace Month in the Youth Science Fairs calendar for 1986-87. Other chapters or individual members in­terested in this project should contact either of the chapters at the addresses listed on page 4.

1986 officers of the B.C.Chapter are George Spiegelman (president), Luis Sobrino (1st vice president), Michael Wallace (2nd vice president), Colin Bell (treasurer), Frank Nezil (secretary), Vera Webb (membership secretary), Jim Foulke (EAR liaison).

The chapter is involved in the hosting of the May International Con­ference on Accidental .Nuclear War (See flier that accompanied the March Bulletin and in conducting a nation­wide survey of materials and teaching aids available for the publication of a Canadian counterpart to the es­teemed U.S. Peace and World Order Studies: A Curriculum Guide. CIIPS is funding this study. (The question­naire enclosed with the last BULLETIN should be filled out and returned, as requested – PLEASE, asks Dr. Bell, project director.)

Science et Paix Quebec will hold its annual meeting in Montreal on May 14. Speaker will be Jocelyn Coulon. Details of time and place will appear in the next BULLETIN.

Many chapter members are among speakers at the April 21-23 Montreal conference on Illusions and Realities in the Nuclear Age.

Annual meeting of Science for Peace – Toronto will be at 8 pm April 17, at Trinity College at the University of Toronto, Toronto.

The chapter is hoping to pub­lish papers delivered in its highly successful lecture and seminar series this year.

Secretary Arnold Simoni received a CIIPS grant for the preparation of the paper on regional conflict listed under BOOKSHELF this month. Awarded a Killam research fellowship for this year was Ian Hacking (U. of Toronto).

Two chapter presidents will be on sabbatical next year:James Gardner (Waterloo) ,Michael Pearson (Quebec).


Demise of a ‘useful thing’

Letter in The Globe and Mail, March 15, 1986

Your headline “Egad, Nothing’s Sacred Any More, Singer To Drop Sewing Machines” (Feb. 19) makes light of a story which is most unfunny and risks misleading the hurried reader about what is really happening. As the copy proceeds to tell us, Singer is getting out of sewing machines the better to devote its energies to the military business.

Mahatma Gandhi described the Singer sewing machine as “one of the few useful things ever in­vented.” Modern instruments of war, of the kind which Singer now produces, are in contrast utterly useless and sheer waste. They are either never used (though themselves using scarce resources which could be put to productive ends) or, if used, are capable of wasting the world.

The real story here is less how Singer is moving with the times and more how the times have done in Singer.

Mel Watkins
London, England

Star Wars and security


There is a good article, “Star Wars and Security”, by R.M. Bowman in the IEEE Technology & Society magazine, Dec., 1985, Vol. 4, 14, pp 2-13. The author, who is highly qualified, presents an analysis of its ineffectiveness on technical grounds, and its contribution to further instability.

- J. Scrimgeour
Washington, D.C.
(The SfP national office will copy the article for you upon request.)


I’ve read Science for Peace with great interest and find it of tre­mendous value in offsetting the insane viewpoint of our Reagan admin­istration. How grateful I am (and everyone should be) to A.R. and the Board and all the members.

— E. Linson

Hawaiians Ask Canada Not To Shell Their Sacred Island

Maui, Hawaii

I want to reinforce my feelings against the frequent bombings of Kaho ‘olawe Island. It is bad enough that Kaho’olawe is bombed by the American military, but the continued military participation of several foreign RIMPAC nations embarrasses our Ameri­can government and angers many people of my county and throughout the state Please stop the bombing of Kaho’olawe by foreign governments and work to­ward an early cessation of the bomb­ing of Kaho’olawe by our own forces.

Letter to Pres. Reagan
by Hannibal Tavares, Mayor, County of Maui

Resource book

Dundas, Ontario

I’ve just read through your BULLETIN (march edition). What a great source of information. Congratulations.

Enclosed is a notice for your April edition. So far I’ve received responses from Science for Peace-Toronto, B.C. and Brock. If you could encourage your members in other chap­ters to respond before the end of April, there would be an even greater S4P presence in the finished book.

— Christine Peringer Peace Research Institute-Dundas

(CPRI-Dundas is compiling a resource book of Canadian peace group activities. If you have lost the question­naire you were sent, write freely a description of what you are doing and send it to CPRE-Dundas, 25 Dundana Ave., Dundas, Ont. L9H 4E5


Peace No. 1 November 1985

To our readers:

The first issue of PEACE has now met with its readers. It is published by the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarma­ment as a medium for exchanging in­formation, deepening understanding, and strengthening rela­tions between the CPAPD and non-gov­ernmental organiza­tions and peoples in different count­ries, who devote themselves to peace and disarmament.

- The Editors

Write for information or for a sub­scription to PEACE to P.O. Box 188, Beijing, China or to 12-A Wanshou Rd. Beijing.

Walter Dorn, I.S.M A Bibliography — a compilation of sources of infor­mation about the international satel­lite monitoring agency. From the Na­tional office.

Franklyn Griffiths, Through the One-way Glass: Mutual Perception in Relations Between the U.S. and S.U., prepared for the meetings of the III World Congress of Soviet and East European Studies in Washington, D.C., 1985.

Distributor for Anatol Rapoport’s new book in Canada is Frye Publishing, Suite 104, 1565 Willson Place, Winni­peg, Man. Telephone: (204) 284-9278.

Eric Fawcett submits that the SANA-New Zealand report, New Zealand’s Military Establishment: Current Realities, is a model of what Science for Peace – Canada might do. Copies of the report can be made for members by the national office.

Arnold Simoni, “Regional Conflict Resolution,” – Background Paper, March, 1986. From the national office.

From Council for a Livable World Education Fund, 20 Park Plaza,Boston, Mass. 02116 U.S.A., free of charge, Jerome Grossman, The Politics of Star Wars.

George Ignatieff, “A Strategy for Survival,” text of the Brockington lecture delivered at Queen’s Univer­sity, Kingston, March 1986.

Anatol Rapoport, “War Without Hatred.” Address for Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Kingston.

From the Stanley Foundation con­ference report on The United States, The United Nations and the Future:

“The group (1985 conferees) be­lieved that the strongly anti-UN po­licies of the early Reagan years had a profound effect on the Hill M.S. Congress), triggering an unleashing of years of pent-up congressional frustration with the United Nations’ perceived anti-Americanism, its ex­travagances and inefficiencies and the abuse meted out to Israel in its plenary bodies. As the overwhelming vote in favor of the Kasse amendment demonstrated, erosion of support for the United Nations now includes many moderates and liberals of both parties — parts of the political spectrum that have been strongly internationalist in the past. If the United States is to avoid losing the United Nations to opponents of multi­lateralism in the United States, and to opponents of the United States in the United Nations,the administration now has no alternative to aggressive and constructive leadership.”

Copies of the complete report are available free of charge from the Stanley Foundation,420 East Third St. Muscatine, Iowa 52761, U.S.A.

Science for Peace Bulletin | ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)