Oral history of British science
Rotblat, Joseph (30 of 40). National Life Stories Collection: General
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Rotblat, Joseph, 1908-2005 (speaker, male)
Thompson, Katherine (speaker, female)
Part 30: JR says there are 3 parts to his life: 1. nuclear physics, 2. medical science, 3. Pugwash. The main characteristics of Pugwash are as follows: 1. it is antibureaucratic - one is a 'member' only while taking part, there are large annual meetings and smaller symposia. Proceedings published after annual meetings, Pugwash newsletter published quarterly. 2. People are invited as individuals and not as delegates of organisations. 3. Only scientists are invited to meetings but later some exceptions had to be made - explains. Important that only scientific methods of discussion are used. The government body has been enlarged from 5 to 9 and there is now a council of 27 - JR explains how it works. The council meets once a year and discusses policies for the future, the executive committee meets 2 - 3 times a year and decides whom to invite. The organisation is now too large so there are 4 officers: 1. the President, 2. Secretary General, 3. Chairman of the Council and 4. Chairman of Executive Committee. JR is Secretary General, later President and always a member of the Council. He explains work of Executive Committee. More about Presidents - past and present.
Nobel Peace Prize-winner and nuclear physicist Joseph Rotblat in conversation about his life and work. A key figure in the development of the atomic bomb, he left the US government's Manhattan Project once it became apparent that Nazi Germany did not have the capability to build a bomb of its own.