Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (22 of 40). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Interviewees

    Rotblat, Joseph, 1908-2005 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 22: Meeting of parliamentarians included 3 Russian scientists but JR was not present, at the time he took part in first meeting for peaceful use of atomic energy which took place in Geneva which was supported by Eisenhower. Main purpose: scientists started to talk to each other - control of dangerous plutonium. For-runner for set-up of UNESCO. JR became 'famous' for publicising danger of fall-out. BBC cancelled his lecture by order of government. JR became member of official delegation to Geneva, speaks about his interviews at the meeting, avoiding politics! Niels Bohr was also there. JR was interviewed on BBC, 2 broadcasts on atomic power, last lecture on medical applications where she showed experiments on himself. Talks about press exaggeration, his letter to the Times and libel action! JR wrote papers about conscience and role of scientists via public. In 1955-56 JR got more involved with medical world. In 1956 he went to the Congress of Radiology in Mexico - via USA and Canada where he gave talks. He used the opportunity to talk to scientists in order to collaborate.

  • Description

    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.

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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