Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (23 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 23: Offer from Delhi to hold conference which JR helped to organise - Association of Scientific Workers, Burhop also involved. Had to get financial help for meeting, Onassis offer was refused. Invitations were accepted by 50% of scientists but by end of 56 there was hostile mood (Suez crisis and uprising in Hungary), people did not want to come and meeting was cancelled. By 1957 people got more worried by tests. Atomic Scientists Association set up committee on radiation danger - JR tells story of woman who painted luminous watches. Committee published a statement on dangers. The press picked it up - involvement of Lord Charwell - opposition to public statement on dangers - end of committee. JR explains argument and misunderstanding about 'threshold theory'. JR now talks about his involvement with Poland, the contact with his brother and his brother's story during the war. JR's trip to Poland with Cockcroft, meeting his brother and bringing him and his wife over to England.

  • 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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