SfP Bulletin October 1986

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

President's Corner

In the quest for peace I am inclined to agree with Charles Dickens when he says in Little Dorrit, “Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving — HOW NOT TO DO IT.”

As Derek Paul reminded us in his paper for the Moscow Academy of Sciences’ Conference on Detente, “On January 15 and in several stages a programme of peace proposals has emerged from the leadership in Moscow the like of which has not been seen since the early post-war days. 1986, a declared year of peace, might also have been named the year of ‘appeals’: scientists the world over have been receiving urgent calls to make a ‘genuine contribution’ to ridding mankind of weapons of mass destruction.”

And yet my impressions from the Pugwash annual meeting in Budapest and consultations with the Institute of USA and Canada Studies in Moscow during September registered some of the frustration and opportunities delayed, if not missed entirely, in the East-West dialogue, especially on the crucial issue of the CTB.

(See Bookshelf for a list of the Pugwash papers available.)

The Soviet extension of its moratorium on testing, as well as cooperation between USA and USSR seismologists on verification, taken in conjunction with the degree of information exchanged about the Chernobyl disaster at the IAEA Vienna meetings, provided an encouraging offset to the stalemate on arms control talks in Geneva and the deterioration in the USAUSSR relationship on the political plane arising from the Daniloff affair. The presence of Olafur Grimsson, a professor from Iceland and President of Parliamentarians Global Action, lent a new type of energetic political leadership in a Pugwash conference. This group stresses the possibilities of non-governmental agencies acting to unite scientists to influence the political process,as the Five Continent Peace Initiative on verification of a test ban.

My visit to the Soviet Union Sept. 8-16, when I had an opportunity to talk with G.A. Arbatov, director of the Institute for US and Canada Studies, and to participate in a seminar, confirmed my impression that the Soviet peace initiatives fit into a new comprehensive security concept based on the recognition of interdependence of nations, put forward by Michael Gorbachev at the 27th CPSU party congress in January. It is also related to the policy of reconstruction whereby the USSR under its new leadership seeks to enter the 21st century a modernized, technologically advanced state which can hold its own with the USA in superpower politics. There is no doubt in my mind that a primordial assumption of Soviet policy since World War II has been to obtain recognition of parity with the USA in world affairs. This requires a reconstruction of the whole economy, stressing greater efficiency as well as more individual initiative, party discipline and a greater productivity, especially to meet consumer demand. This is inconsistent with maintaining the present wasteful use of resources for the promotion of an arms race which the new leaders have recognized provides no greater security to either side.

I came away from Moscow with the conclusion that in this quest for parity there can be no victories or defeats in the diplomatic relationship of the superpowers, and that this is fully recognized by the new leaders in Moscow. It can only be hoped that after the pre-election fever has passed in Washington, the two sides will conclude that the proper objective of diplomacy in the nuclear age is mutual advantage in the common interest in survival where both sides are better off with fewer weapons of mass destruction. By removing some factors of insecurity through moratoriums, each side will feel more secure. This, in my view, could happen despite the “circumlocution” and impediments to progress which loom large at the moment.

- George Ignatieff

International Day of Peace

OTTAWA- Our service members have long been in the forefront of the UN’s efforts to ease tensions around the world. Between 1947 and 1985 some 77,000 Canadian Forces personnel have taken part in 15 UN peacekeeping operations and in three truce supervisory missions conducted outside the United Nations.Through collective security as well as our international efforts to control arms and to find peaceful solutions to conflict,Canada helps to preserve global peace.

- Gen. Paul D. Manson, Chief, Defence Staff Sept. 15, 1986

World Food Day was created in 1981 by the UN to increase awareness, especially in developed countries,of world-wide food problems. Tim Fielding and Joel Winters of the WFD Committee,conduct the Toronto Chapter seminar Oct. 15 on the topic: “World Food Day: What it means to Canadians”.

And in Guelph, at the University of Guelph, Oct. 23-26, is the international conference “Science and Technology in the World Food Crisis”. Registration deadline: October 15

By mail: Div. of Continuing Education By phone: (519)824-4120/3957

The Peace Imperative

The Int’l Year of Peace Coalition Committee-Mississauga sponsors a film festival from Oct. 20-24. The films are shown each evening at 7:30 pm in South Building, Erindale College, (Mississauga Rd. north of Dundas). For program and further details,call Janis Alton(416)274-6191

Newsworthy

The U of T Philosophers for Peace were charged during CPA meetings in Winnipeg this summer with organizing a session at the 1987 Learned Societies meetings in Hamilton. The group was asked to initiate a modest newsletter.

Over 30 people attended a roundtable discussion on “Philosophical Perspectives on the Origins of War”, following which some 20 discussed the need for and how to organize nationally.

Lois Dove (U of T) and her mother were Radcliffe graduates and daughter Marion is currently enrolled as an undergraduate at Harvard. The three women were honored in early September at the 350th anniversary of Harvard’s founding — a three generation Harvard-Radcliffe family.

“We should never lose sight of the fact that to avert disaster we have not only to teach men to make things, but also to produce people who have complete moral control over the things they make.”

— Charles, Prince of Wales Harvard’s 350th anniversary Sept. 5, 1986

Floyd Rudmin (Queen’s University) will serve as secretary/treasurer of the Social Responsibility Section of the Canadian Psychological Ass’n this academic year.

The True North Strong And Free

A Public Inquiry into Canadian Defence Policy and Nuclear Arms

Nov. 8-9, Edmonton, ALTA, Convention Centre; sponsored by Edmonton PSR and The Council of Canadians.

Among those discussing the issues are SfP member Dorothy Goresky; and considering alternatives, George Ignatieff and David Suzuki.

Inquiries should go to True North Office, #40I 14727-87 Ave., Edmonton, ALTA T5R 4E5

Complexity

A year ago Ursula Franklin assisted in the production of the CBC IDEAS program, “The Northern Front”. This year Ursula’s IDEAS program will focus on Complexity. Assisting in the explication will be Henry Regier, Environmental Studies U of T,Cornelia Baines, M.D., professors W. Vanderberg and F. Cunningham, U of T, and U of T’s professor of peace studies, Anatol Rapoport.

An intriguing part of the program, according to Prof. Franklin, will be an interview with the researcher from Simon Fraser University who has been involved in a program of introducing automation into a public system“from the ground up” instead of “from the boss down”.

Ideas — CBC Nov. 6 and 13 9-10 pm

Peace Studies at McMaster

The President’s Committee On The Study Of Peace at McMaster University has recommended not only the development of an undergraduate level program, but also graduate studies. The committee report points out that there is at present no Canadian graduate program in the study of peace. Strong resources to support a graduate level program at the university include the Russell Archives, an exceptional research collection on British pacifism, the Vera Brittain papers, the largest single archive of any Christian pacifist documenting the period 1930-45, and the Canadian Baptist Archives and materials on Canadian peace movements. PRI-Dundas is near and has expressed interest in development of cooperation with McMaster.

A key innovative recommendation is for the creation of a Centre for Peace Studies, which would be a focus for multi-disciplinary effort. The administration and servicing of an outreach program could go on through such a Centre.

Cross of Iron

“This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children….This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.

Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” April 16, 1953

— The Hon. Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th President of the U.S.A.

The case of the Lost Virus

A recent Reuters report entitled, “Virus lost by US lab said enough to infest everyone in the world” (The Globe and Mail Sept. 24, 1986) describes the 1981 disappearance of a large quantity of chikungunya virus from a refrigerator in an unguarded US Army laboratory. There was apparently no proper investigation of this loss and, in May of 1986, the Army Inspector General indicated the Army had “no established procedures for responding to such a problem”. It is also said that a former Army scientist who did research at the laboratory claims “Enough of the virus is missing to infect the entire world population, used as a weapon”.

The virus was stored at Fort Dietrich, Md., according to the Foundation on Economic Trends, an environmentalist group that has sued the Pentagon. The Pentagon has denied to the Congress that there is a threat to the public — despite a cited Pentagon document that states that chikungunya virus poses a menace of disease of explosive potential either as a biological warfare agent or a natural disease threat.

A more moderate estimate of the threat comes from a prominent University of Toronto microbiologist who has had direct experience with the virus and who points out that it has been endemic in East African populations and in parts of India, but that its transmission to humans requires particular species of mosquito vectors, vectors that are absent in most parts of the world including North America. Without these highly specific vectors, the virus could probably be transmitted effectively only by deliberate injection.

Scientists and the concerned public should note that such a theft of a disease — producing virus can occur so easily, never to be traced, under the lax security conditions of an Army laboratory. With the horrifying prospect of renewed US research into candidate organisms for germ warfare and an aileged continued program of such research in the USSR, the public can pnly wait in auguish on the likelihood of a mishap similar to that of the chikungunya virus, but involving some much more deadly and readily transmissible pathogenic organism.

-Alan Weatherley

Letters

Toronto, 27 Aug.

May I say how very much I agree with your letter in today’s Globe and Mail? I very much resent being told by Washington that a ban on the testing of nuclear weapons in not in my interest. I am also concerned at the speed with which Russian proposals in this area are rejected with the accusation that the Russians cannot be trusted not to cheat. There seems no thought for the fact that the Russians would have to trust the Americans not to cheat, and that they seem prepared to take that gamble.

-J. Gittins

Darmstadt, 17 Sept.

I have now received my first issue of your BULLETIN. Many thanks. I shall send you shortly in exchange a copy of the publication Wissenschaft und Frieder, which in West Germany is the most important voice for the peace movement among scientists. I belong to the editorial board of this journal.

- Garnot Böhme

Technische Hochschule (Translation)

Notes

Not The Right Answer

OTTAWA — A letter signed by a group of leaders of the Canadian organization Science for Peace was published recently in THE GLOBE AND MAIL. The name of G. Ignatieff, President of this organization, a high ranking diplomat in the past, the former representative of Canada in the UN Security Council, opens the list of its authors.

The representatives of peace-loving Canadian public criticize the position of official Ottawa, which keeps silent concerning the unilateral Soviet moratorium for nuclear explosions. Such silence in response to one more extension by the Soviet Union of the Moratorium does not go in line with the statements previously made by Canada, of its intention to assist halting of all nuclear tests — says the letter. Doesn’t such a position express agreement with the statement, made by the White House, that allegedly the treaty on the halting of nuclear tests “would not be serving the interests of the USA and its allies”?

- V. Shelkov
Pravda, 3 Sept., p4 (Official translation)

Doing Science for peace

This month we introduce to you the International Institute of Concern for Public Health, whose founding members are all members of Science for Peace.

On having a stroke

There’s so little time for each of us
On this lovely vale of earth
This circling globe with atmosphere

Conducive to human birth.
On my hospital wall there is a sign
Saying, simply — “I love you”.
Just suppose these words were etched

On Embassies the wide world through?
I do not hate the Russians,
The Russians do not hate me.
What is the force that keeps us apart
Contending we can’t agree?

In World War I an uncle of mine
Lay wounded in No-Man’s Land,
With only a German soldier
To lend a helping hand.
He bandaged my uncle’s hanging eye
While the battle raged around
Two boys, their nations labeled foes,
True friends, as each had found.

Time here is short for each of us,
And then we pass away.
Is it not good sense, good manners,
To be kindly during our stay?
This fertile earth with its bounty
Is there for all to share.
Why should we push and hate and fear
When we could love and care?

— Murray Wilton
Room 1508 B
Mount Sinai Hospital August 20, 1986

Research Coming into Focus

Prof. Paul LeBlond, Dept. of Oceanography, UBC, and research director of SfP, announced at the 29 Sept. board meeting the establishment of a network of regional associate directors who will work to define a national program’s goals and strategies. To date these scientists have accepted appointment: Kenneth Dunn, professor of maths and computer science, Dalhousie; G.P. Semeluk, Dept. of Chemistry, UNB, and treasurer SfP-New Brunswick; Philip Wallace, Emeritus Professor of physics McGill Univ. and former Principal of Science College, Concordia U; Robert Malcolmson,Dept. of Hostory, Queen’s; Leroy Sanders, physicist (ret.), secretary of SfPOttawa; Arnold Simoni, author (ret) Vp for research, SfP — Toronto; C.C. Bigelow, Dean of Science, Univ. of Manitoba;David Roulston,Dept. of Elec Engineering, U of Waterloo and sec’y SfP — Waterloo; and C.S. Holling, Institute of Resource Ecology, UBC.

The team will concern itself with the mandate of SfP to lead a research effort for Canada directed toward the application of science to peaceful purposes. Scientists from other research centres in Canada and abroad will be invited to join this first team.

Prof Gregory Baum has joined the Religious Studies Dept. at McGill.

IN MEMORIAM: F.M. Kelly, Professor, Department of Physics, University of Manitoba; first President, Manitoba Chapter of Science for Peace.

Chapters

Satellites For Peace: ISMA vs. star wars, a panel presentation and discussion sponsored by the World Federalists of Canada — one of the Toronto Chapter’s public lectures for October. Centre Stage Forum, St. Lawrence Centre, Toronto, 7:30 pm October 22.

On Tuesday, October 21 from 10am till 4pm, Science for Peace members will conduct a workshop relevant to the Forum on Peacekeeping Satellites. Emphasis will be on the technical requirements and feasibility of satellite monitoring with presently or potentially available technology. For further information call Walter Dorn, (416)293-8660.

from The Waterloo Chapter: Fall Program:

A series of Thursdays At Lunch (12:30 pm, room 124, Arts Lecture Hall) showing of Gwynne Dyer’s WAR through Nov. 6.

Rosalie Bertell speaks on Wed., Oct. 29, 7:30 pm, room 116, Arts Lecture Hall: Humanity At Risk. Dr. Bertell will be on campus (Jniv of Waterloo) during the afternoon for informal discussions.

The satellite dish at the University will be used for a second hook-in to the Union of Concerned Scientists’(et al) Nov.15 Teleconference.

Further information: Cynthia Folzer, Dept. of Chemistry, Univ. of Waterloo

Psychology Of Peacemaking Discussed In Amsterdam

Anatol Rapoport and I represented SfP at the 9th annual meeting of the Intl Soc. of Political Psychology this summer in Amsterdam. The ISPP brings together academics from all the social and behavioural sciences (even the occasional biologist) with theorists and practitioners of politics from all parts of the world.

This year peace and conflict research was the official theme of 40 out of the 70 sessions of the conference. Israeli and Palestinian scholars shared the president’s session. Dutch peace activists invited examination of their strategies and Soviet and American scholars discussed cold war issues.

Next year’s meetings are July 4-7 in San Francisco. Contact Dr. Rosalind Lorwin, Dept. of Psychology, San Diego Univ., CA USA 92182.

Bookshelf

Christian Bay, On the Contest between Politics and Pseudopolitics, paper delivered at 9th annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology,Amsterdam, July, 1986.

36th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs. Papers available on request:

  • List of participants
  • George Ignatieff, The Role of Non-Nuclear-Weapons States in Efforts to Reduce the Nuclear Danger Within Alliances.
  • Reports of Working Groups:
    • No. 1 Nuclear Arms Race
    • No. 2 European Security
    • No. 3 Role of Non-nuclear Weapons States in Efforts to Reduce the Nuclear Danger
    • No. 4 Non-Military Aspects of Reducing East-West tensions
    • No. 5 Interaction of Int’l Economic Relations with World Peace and Detente

The 7 August Mexico Declaration of the Group of Six: The Mexico Summit Document On Verification Measures

Russell Joyner, “Defense” and “Security”, a Semantic Analysis of These Concepts in American Life.

Rosalie Bertell, Facts Not Fiction “about the meaning of releases of radioactivity from various uranium and nuclear fission activities and the impact of such releases on human health and the integrity of the biosphere”.

Chandler Davis (U of T), Having Come This Far: Collected Poems, A 60th birthday selection by his family.

Peter Meincke, Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution: The Keys to Canada’s Defence and Foreign Policies

Günther Schwarz, publisher,translator of the Bulletin (in part) each month for his German Speaking Public in Central Europe. For a complete catalogue of Verlag DarmstHdter BlOtter’s publications, write for SfP office.

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