Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (31 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 31: The Secretary General is the most important in Pugwash Organisation - first office was in his house and explains how he started it. JR now speaks about various people who held important office in Pugwash and the setting up of national Pugwash groups. In the U.K. there were several hundreds members for local meetings and he explains how the system worked and how it was financed. JR talks about Martin Kaplan. the Russians were suspicious of him as he was microbiologist, he became 'director' and in 75 became Secretary General but also had office in Geneva. Present Secretary General is Francesco Calogero who set up an office in Rome. Some friction started in Pugwash and JR explains reasons and how they dealt with it. JR is now President. He explains enlargement of conference and how it is organised. JR stood down at last meeting in Norway in 1997. The new Secretary General is George Rathjens who is a political scientist and has head office in U.S.A. JR is not happy with arrangements The Russian side is weak since fall of communism due to low scientific standing and no money for travel. JR explains new rules for Pugwash, G. Rathjens not willing to work in U.K., has new office in U.S.A.. JR not happy with role of G.R.

  • 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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