Letters to the editor

Dr. Eric Fawcett
Science for Peace
University of Toronto

Dear Eric:

Thanks for sending me the brochure on Science for Peace for 1989-90. If I recall our phone conversation correctly you wanted my comments on it; anyhow, here they are.

Generally, I think it is very good, and my only query concerns the new involvement with environmental matters. In one sense, I suppose this is more or less inevitable, in the sense that as the danger of nuclear war recedes, the threat of ecological disaster looms ever larger. On the other hand, I feel that there are still some very serious peace issues remaining, e.g., verification of arms control, accidental nuclear war, horizontal nuclear proliferation, chemical and biological weapons, and I am afraid that there is a danger of our spreading our limited resources too thinly. After all, we are the only professional body in Canada who can deal with these issues (I am excluding the military!), while there are already several very competent organizations that are concerned with ecological questions.

Actually, I have said all this before, but if there is a consensus that this is the way we should go, then I accept it. But then I think that the name of our organization becomes even more inappropriate than it was. I have always been a little uneasy about it, not least because there is no reference to our being Canadian-based. Also, I know that some people have been turned off by it. My own preference in the past was for something like ‘Canadian Scientists for Peace’. Anyhow, in view of the new orientation what about ‘Canadian Scientists for Global Concerns’?

To summarize, my only criticism of the brochure concerns the first three words! Also, a possible misprint, 5 lines from the bottom of p. 3: ‘untimely death at 96’. Sounds rather strange.

Best wishes,

J.M. Pearson
Laboratoire de Physique Nucleaire,
Université de Montréal
Montréal, H3C 3J7
12. 4. 90