Retreat to Discuss Science for Peace Activities

A retreat, announced to the SfP Board meeting of September 25th, was held the weekend of Nov. 3-5 at Maple Creek, Ontario. Twelve members participated. The retreat was conceived as a group effort to plan and recommend to the Board SfP activities for the immediate and near future; widespread representation was sought. For a variety of reasons, and regrettably, we found ourselves with representatives from only three groups, all from nearby Hamilton, Toronto, and Waterloo.

There emerged from much lively discussion the appended list of sixteen projects — eight presently or chronically engaged in by SfP, and presented for reaffirmation, four new research projects, two projects for the education of ourselves and our membership, one for public education, and one “superordinate” project of long-range research and self education.

We were attentive to the need to find within the group of participants in the Retreat a sponsor or convenor for each of the projects proposed; the parenthetical entries identify these persons (or in two cases other Science for Peace members responsible for the project).

In late September, there seemed to be some wish of the Vancouver groups to plan a more or less parallel retreat. If they or other groups have done this, or are soon to do it, the Board will have a wealth of recommended projects to deal with, of which these from South-Central Ontario will be but a part.

A Notice of Motion regarding this retreat and its recommended projects is being forwarded for the December 3 Board Meeting of Science for Peace, with the expectation that the projects may be adopted and pursued with vigour. Those who attended the retreat believe that these projects represent some of the most important contributions our organization can make in the near future in progress towards a stable peace.

Projects Recommended by the Retreat

A. Presently, Recently, or Chronically Engaged by Science for Peace**

  1. Science for Peace International Network: SPIN (E. F.)
  2. Public Education through Large Events (E.F. T. G.)
  3. A series of public conferences under the title(s) Future History Of Planet Earth (Future H.O.P.E.) is planned. The first, Future Histories: Remembering Tomorrow took place Nov. 10-11, ’89, at Metro Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., Toronto.
  4. Follow-up on the Arctic Conference of Nov. ’88 (P.B.)
  5. Proposed research on Canadian and International security questions related to the Arctic; non-provocative monitoring techniques.
  6. Redirection of Science Towards Peace (Luis Sobrino)
  7. A proposed Conference on Professional Ethics of Scientists, B.C. Chapter.
  8. Peace Education as a Part of Formal Education (T.G.)
  9. Interaction with schools, school boards, universities, CPREA, COPRED, Learned Societies; Interuniversity Seminars, etc.
  10. Tritium Export (P.R.)
  11. Hamilton, Ontario chapter of SfP project, focussed on Ontario Hydro’s plan to sell its tritium (byproduct) to U.S. for “non-military” use.
  12. Verification Technologies (P.B. & D.R.)
  13. Pursuit and extension of SIP’s active work on satellite monitoring; to include, at least, passive submarine detection technologies.
  14. Accidental Nuclear War (Michael Wallace). A 1991 Conference on Pacific Security is planned by the B.C. Chapter.

B. New Proposed Research Projects

  1. Economic Conversion, with personnel reallocation (J. V.)
  2. Case study or studies examining in detail problems and possible solutions arising in the wake of a posited political decision to reduce arms production. Some such studies have been made in the U.S. by Melman, Dumas, et al. Our motivation is to demonstrate — insofar as possible — feasibility of conversion to consumer production without traumatic social cost — unemployment, severe dislocation, etc.
  3. CIIPS is inviting proposals, for funding at the level of $100,000, for somewhat similar projects. The research will require the assembly of an expert task force.
  4. Modelling of military or economic forces as nonlinear systems (L. T.)_
  5. Lynn Trainor and Ray Kapral have active, allied research interests.
  6. Militarism and the Environment (R. W.)
    Topics studied would include low-level training flights and the proposed NATO installation at Goose Bay.
  7. Small Study Group on International Comprehensive Security Systems (L.T. and A.S.)

C. Self Education Projects

  1. Ongoing Watching Briefs (E.F.)
    A proposal to monitor media reports on selected matters of particular interest to SIP. A tentative list of such topics has been prepared.
  2. Abstracts Bulletin (A.S.)
    Thumbnail abstracts of selected articles from a wide range of journals will be circulated to interested members.

D. Education of the Public

  1. _Task Force on Science for Peace and the Media (J. S.)
    This group will try to find or create channels through which the concerns of SIP can reach various constituencies of the public with greater frequency, prominence, and regularity than heretofore.

E. Superordinate, Long-Term Project

  1. _What kinds of Economic Systems can Preserve Society? (J.V.)

Retreat Participants

  • Host & Peter Brogden (P.B.)
  • Shirley Farlinger (S.F.)
  • Eric Fawcett (E.F.)
  • Rapporteur & Terry Gardner (T.G.)
  • Herb Jenkins (H.J.)
  • David Roulston (D.R.)
  • Arnold Simoni (A.S.)
  • Jean Smith (J.S.)
  • Lynn Trainor (L.T.)
  • John Valleau (J.V.)
  • Chair & Alan Weatherley (A.W.)
  • Robena Weatherley (R.W.)

A sponsor or convenor for each of the projects is given from this list of participants (or in two cases Science for Peace members responsible for an ongoing project). Telephone and, where available, FAX numbers are given. We intend this list to be an invitation to act. We urge Retreat Correspondents and others to contact the appropriate sponsor or convenor and join one or more of these Project-teams; to suggest other Projects that they might wish to promote; and to pass this Report on to colleagues and friends who might wish to join in our activities.

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