Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (35 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 35: Talk about problems of controlling biological weapons. JR started project to think about a nuclear weapons free world - is it desirable and feasible? He produced book with that title. The Australian Garret Evans read his book and called him to come to Canberra Commission and mentions other members who were present at initial Commission. The new Government in Australia is less committed. JR presented a report to Government but Americans pressed British Government to 'ease off on this project. A "No first use treatment" would have to be made. Problems with Russia e.g. sinking of atomic submarine. JR again talks about his various prizes, the Nobel Peace Prize being the highest recognition of his work, other prizes like Einstein Peace Prize, fellow of Royal Society, doctorates etc. He has now just been made honorary fellow of Academy of Medical Sciences and now Honorary Fellow of Institute of Physics. JR talks about how the Nobel Peace Prize changed his life - he says he is a less nice person, now says an occasional "no" to giving lectures, does not reply by hand to all letters, does not answer telephone himself etc. But he feels he is lucky to be able to think, travel and do some good at age 92!

  • 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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