Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (29 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 29: JR explains setting up of two different committees. (1) more concerned with movement of scientists with social conscience and (2) more concerned with specific aspects of nuclear arms race - explains. Each year both committees take place, different people take part in the committees but Russians normally take part in both committees. Later 'committees' were called conferences. After 10 years it was decided to have only annual conferences but they were all numbered, so Cambridge is now the 50th Conference. Later it was decided to have different types of meetings - with small number of experts, but science meetings needed more scientists, therefore more people, and these were now called Symposia. Sometimes there were 10 Symposia in one year but for those they had less input from the Russians who had no money for travel. Symposia did not end with a 'conclusion' but with a written report. After annual meetings the council issued a public statement after a press conference. JR talks about moral attitude of scientists not related to nationality. JR is now on a Royal Society Committee involved with scientific aspects of security. Recording fades.

  • 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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