The concept of the International Peace Week of Scientists was originated by Hendrik Bramhoff, a 32 year old West German mathematician at the University of Hamburg. Bramhoff personally organized and funded the first Peace Week in 1986 as a contribution to the United Nations International Year of Peace.
In its second year activities took place in more than 30 countries involving some 40,000 people.
In February of this year Oscar Arias Sanchez wrote to Bramhoff:
The dream of a world without war is one of the most cherished dreams of the Costa Rican people. To work for this ideal and, in particular, for the establishment of solid and lasting peace in Central America is one of the mandates that Costa Rica has given me.
Loyalty to this mandate and the dictates of my conscience compel me to make the maximum effort to contribute to the cause of concord and understanding among people. I believe that science has a key role to play in this undertaking. An unshakeable commitment to the use of science for peaceful ends, and for the socio-economic development of humanity, must be promoted among scientists worldwide. In this regard the work of International Peace Week of Scientists is worth of all praise and deserves unconditional support form people of good will and from the world organizations called on to promote peace in the world.
For this reason, not only have I supported all initiatives for disarmament in the General Assembly of United Nations, but I also stand ready to propose to that body that the week of 11 November of each year should be dedicated to the theme “Science and peace”. My Government will take the necessary steps immediately.
A draft resolution to the General Assembly on “Science and Peace” includes: celebration, each year, the week within which November 11 falls, a International Week of Science and Peace, and urging universities and other institutions of higher learning, scientific academies and institutes, and professional associations and individuals form the scientific community; to conduct, during that week,m special lectures, seminars, debates and other activities conducive to the affirmation of the particular responsibility that each scientist has for the character of the utilization of his/her work, and the necessity to promote, among scientists world-wide, a strong commitment to the use of science for an enhancement of international peace, security and cooperation, socioeconomic development of humanity, promotion of human rights, and protection of the global environment
Science for Peace endorses the International Peace Week of Scientists and encourages the members and the local chapters to organized some activity for this week. Obvious suggestions are the sponsorship of public lectures. Innovative approaches are encouraged.
The goals are:
- to improve the climate for arms control and disarmament, and the application of science for peace and human betterment;
- to increase awareness of the impact of scientific developments on international security;
- to encourage scientists to work for constructive rather than destructive objectives;
- to involve scientists and citizens around the world in public dialogue on the grand issues of our time;
- to support and uphold an ethical code for scientists which prohibits the use of scientific knowledge for destructive purposes.
- Reports of activities should be send to Prof. Eric Fawcett, Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A7. tel (416) 978-5217/486-9801(h)