With anti nuclear sentiments riding High today, porticularly in developing Countries it is appropriate that the hd Peace Prize went to an active besnifter inespon campaigner - ob 1, 11 and his Pugwash Siftfillon. 'I really feel that it is Id tor dw scientific community," liftid" In response to the award. Son announced that the award 190se so Notblat and Pugwash for &-efforts to diminish the part poill by wirdear arms in international politics."The award also hits below The belt the recent resumption of French nuclear tesling in the Pacific.
Rotblat's involvement with antinuclear issues began with the atomic physics research he conducted in his hometown of Warsaw, Poland. Ironically, in 1944 he became associated with the Manhattan project engaged in developing the first nuclear weapon in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Then, he admits, the fear was that if Germany developed the bomb, Hitler would use it without hesitation. -But when it became dear that the Germans would not have a weapon ready by the end of the war, I became disillusioned,- says Rotblat.
In December 19", Rotblat walked out of the Manhattan Project and two years later became a British national. Ratblat is the last of a group of 11 - the two most prominent among them being Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein - who questioned global consciousness about the threat posed by nuclear arms, by sending a hardhitting appeal to the White Houie and Kremlin 40 years ago. On the heels of this ardent appeal, the Pugwash Foundation was iaunched.
Pleasantly, Bertrand Russell's pre-diction about Joseph Rotblat seems to have rung distinctly true. "if ever these evils (nuclear weapons) are eradicated, his name should stand very high indeed among the heroes," Russell had exaltedly declared.
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