Oral history of British science

Rotblat, Joseph (39 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 39: JR was presented with a tape recorder for music on his retirement, mostly records classical music but also likes the Beatles. Now he got a CD player but no time to listen! His only way to relax is with TV, mainly science programmes. He used to have he dog but he died. He is still very busy and behind with his writing. JR talks about his speech at the Nobel Prize presentation and other honours he has received. His attitude to Germany. Germans are involved in Pugwash. Talk on holocaust was avoided. He got no honours from Italy, but good contacts with Spain. French Pugwash members are difficult - never critical of their own government. Russians joined the Pugwash meetings since 1957, he made many good friends, has good relationship with Vitali Goldanskii. More about JR's travels and honours. Got honorary doctorate from University of Moscow, has been to South America, clandestine meeting in Argentina, been to Brazil, Chile (before Pinochet), Australia and New Zealand, China and Japan. Got honorary degree in Osaka (Japan), in China he was treated as honoured guest and taken on tour of China. In Canada he gave Bertrand Russell lecture and got honorary degree from 2 Universities. New Iceland Pugwash group disappeared due to disagreement with Pugwash programme. JR talks about his lectures in different countries, the main theme the same but slightly different aspects dependent on which country he is speaking - gives examples. Lectures with slides but he speaks without notes.

  • 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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