Science for Peace can bask in the afterglow of the award of the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize to the Pugwash movement and its President, Joseph Rotblat. Both organizations were founded with (1) the realization that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, (2) the determination to see the abolition of nuclear weapons, and, (3) a recognition that scientists have a responsibility to their profession and their world to ensure, both individually and collectively, that the results of their work are used for the betterment of humankind. While the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs is of international scope, and our organization is a national organization, SfP and Canada can be proud that Pugwash draws its name from a small fishing village in Nova Scotia where the first Pugwash conference was held.
Science for Peace not only shares many noble goals and approaches with Pugwash, but it also shares members as well. One of SfP’s founding members, John Polanyi, was also the founding chairman of Canadian Pugwash. In December, he travelled to Scandinavia for a second time to attend a Nobel award ceremony (in 1986 he was co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry). In Toronto, John joined a dozen or more other joint members of SfP and Canadian Pugwash (representing about a fifth of its Canadian membership) in celebratory symposium for Pugwash organized by SfP.
The award reminds us that, while there has been substantial progress in nuclear disarmament, we are still far from a nuclear weapons free world. The goals which animated the foundation of both organizations need support as much as ever before. Furthermore, as Joseph Rotblat stated in his Nobel address, we must now seek not only the end to nuclear weaponry but also the end to war. For those goals, we will need all the help we can get!