President's Corner

For S4P members who come to the annual meeting May 8. there will be an extended version of this report — my picture of where we stand as an organization today and the challenge that lies immediately ahead.

Tour executive intended to strengthen the structure and the financial condition of S4P and we feel that we have been successful. Functioning chapters are now five in number: St. F.X. Univ., New Brunswick, Quebec, Waterloo, and B.C. The Toronto Chapter now has a secretary—Terry Gardner—and may revitalize itself. An Ottawa Chapter seems imminent. Guelph has a small residual bank account waiting for renewed chapter interest. There is more potential for support for members’ activities through active chapters than through a centralized organization that must, of necessity, be somewhat bureaucratic. Mobilizing the rest of our colleagues is easier through decentralized groups.

Conferences have been successfully organized by the New Brunswick Chapter (visit by Bishop Gumbleton), Quebec Chapter (program for the Futures Society of the 1985 Learned Societies Meeting), and the BC Chapter (in cooperation with the PSR, the 1984 conference on Nuclear War: The Search for Solutions). The BC Chapter has projected a research-testing program for materials for study at the undergraduate and graduate levels and a possible conference on accidental nuclear war. Toronto members have been involved in the planning and organizing of the Conference on European Security and the MBFR Talks, scheduled for May 6-7.

At other places in the Bulletin you will find reports of the educational activities of SfP — lectures, seminars and conferences. This year we launched a “seminar by Mail” venture with a major position paper on the non-proliferation treaty and comprehensive test ban resulting. The paper is ready for distribution. It was presented for discussion in Ottawa by Norm Rubin, member of the preparatory group. Amplifications are in order — and new topics are to be treated in a similar may.

S4P’s publication program for members’ research and “think” articles has had some interesting results: most recently,Arthur Forer’s article on Canadian Chemical and Biological Warfare Research has been made the feature story in the April Canadian Forum. Since the Bulletin has become a monthly publication, information about members’ work circulates increasingly freely as requests for proffered reprints attest.

A system of careful control of income and expenses was instituted by our treasurer, Ray Kapral. We started our term in office with commitments and debts of $3835, now paid off. Our income this year was approximately $17,700, of which almost $5000 was returned to the chapters for their programs. It has been challenging to contemplate how much program we could accomplish with so little money.

My own research program, into the conditions facilitating or inhibiting escape from social traps was begun in February and will conclude in February, 1986. Chandler Davis and John Valleau have been in touch with increasing numbers of members who have ideas for new research programs. Arnold Simoni has already submitted a project to the new national institute, CUPS, as has the B.C. Chapter.

Our relations with Physicians for Social Responsibility have deepened over the year and the two groups are now working together in a trusting supportive way.

A similar relationship seems to be emerging with computer professionals who are organizing across Canada. The differing “publics” with which we are in contact extends the outreach of each of us.

The chair of peace studies at the U. of Toronto has not been funded, and we have not really been free to work on funding. The first coarse in a peace studies program was launched in University College at the University, however, and a full program has been planned for 1986, if all goes well.

I have met a great number of you this year, either in visits to your campuses. or cities, or in your visits to Toronto. It seam to me that there is a growing feeling of collegiality – we may become a real “community” of scholars, each doing what he does best, saying and writing what must be said or written but knowing we share certain ethical terrain together and assuming some responsibility to support each other as we work toward common goals. We have been a growing team that have functioned as your executive board this year: Derek Paul, Ray Kapral and I, your elected officers, have been ably joined by Terry Gardner, education director; Ed Barbeau and then Brydon Gombay, editor; Chan Davis and John Valleau, research directors; Metta Spencer and Miriam Fernandez, seminars and speakers bureau coordinators; John Brenciaglia fund-raising; John Dove conference coordinator; Michael Dove, and Hanna Newcombe, principals of the policy writing group; Maureen Kapral, assistant treasurer; Gwen Rapoport, administrative assistant.

- A.R.

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ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)