News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

My Photo
Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

03 September 2005

Nobel Peace Laureate Joseph Rotblat dies

Friday 2 September 2005

Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Joseph Rotblat Dies

By Matt Moore
Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- Joseph Rotblat, who was the only scientist to resign from the Manhattan Project and later received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to rid the world of atomic weapons, has died at the age of 96, his spokesman said Thursday.

Rotblat and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, the group he founded to promote nuclear disarmament, received the prestigious prize in 1995.

Rotblat, who was born in Warsaw and became a British citizen in 1946, died peacefully in his sleep in London on Wednesday night, the group said.

"Joseph Rotblat was a towering figure in the search for peace in the world, who dedicated his life to trying to rid the world of nuclear weapons, and ultimately to rid the world of war itself," said M.S. Swaminathan, president of the Pugwash Conferences.

Rotblat's penchant for holding science accountable began early in his career, when he was a part of the Manhattan Project that was seeking to build an atomic bomb. He resigned from the project after it became clear that Germany was not developing its own nuclear weapon.

On July 9, 1955, Rotblat and 10 other scientists, including Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Frederic Joliot-Curie and 1962 Nobel peace laureate Linus Pauling, issued a manifesto in London declaring that researchers must take responsibility for their creations, such as the atomic bomb.

Later, in 1957, Rotblat helped to found the group in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. Pugwash takes its name from the Indian word "pagwechk," which means "shallow water."

In awarding the peace prize, the Nobel committee said it was honoring efforts by Rotblat and his group to "diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and in the longer run to eliminate such arms."

They have worked to get scientists to "take responsibility for their inventions" out of a "desire to see all nuclear arms destroyed and, ultimately, in a vision of other solutions to international disputes than war," the Nobel citation read.

In his Nobel lecture, Rotblat said the group's goal of a war-free world was "not Utopian."

"There already exist in the world large regions, for example, the European Union, within which war is inconceivable. What is needed is to extend these to cover the world's major powers," he said.

The group's secretary-general, Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, said Rotblat "possessed the extraordinary combination of scientific rigor and moral integrity that we believe is, and has been, the hallmark of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs since 1957."

"Indeed, without Jo, there would have been no Pugwash, and far less pressure from the scientific community on governments to abandon nuclear weapons," he said.

Rotblat received a master's degree from the University of Poland in 1932 and a doctorate in physics from the University of Warsaw in 1938. He worked at a radiological laboratory in Warsaw from 1933-39 and as the assistant director of the Free University of Poland's Atomic Physics Institute.

He married Tola Gryn in 1937, but left his wife behind in Poland when he went to the University of Liverpool in 1939 because she was too ill to travel. She was later imprisoned by the Nazis in a concentration camp and did not survive.

After leaving the Manhattan Project, he returned to the University of Liverpool, working in the physics department. He joined the University of London in 1950 and worked there until 1976.

Rotblat's other honors included a knighthood in 1998, the Albert Einstein Peace Prize in 1992, the Copernicus Medal of the Polish Academy of Scientists in 1996, and the Jamnalal Bajaj Peace Award in 1999.

Rotblat, who never remarried, is survived by two nieces, and several great-nieces and great-great nephews. Funeral plans were not immediately announced.


Saturday 3 September 2005
Financial Times (London UK)

Scientist who stopped
working on bomb
to devote his life to peace

By Sue Cameron

Professor Sir Joseph Rotblat, the Nobel prize winner who has died at the age of 96, resigned from the top secret team working on the first atomic bomb and devoted the rest of his life to peace and nuclear disarmament.

"We have been trying to save the world," he once said, "sometimes against the world's wishes".

The Polish-born Rotblat was the only scientist whose conscience led him to leave the Manhattan project, which developed the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the second world war. After the war he was one of the co-founders of the Pugwash conferences, an organisation that brought together scientists from all over the world -- most notably from the US and the then Soviet Union -- to work for nuclear disarmament.

At the height of the cold war the Pugwash conferences, although little known to most people, provided a rare channel of communication between east and west. They were influential in securing the Partial Test Ban Treaty of the early 1960s and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, has said the conferences helped to shape the policies that led to the ending of the cold war.

Rotblat and the Pugwash conferences were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1995. In between his tireless campaigning against weapons of mass destruction, Rotblat, a brilliant scientist, worked on medical physics and the impact of radiation, becoming professor of physics at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Yet it is his work for world peace that will be seen as his greatest achievement.

He was Born in Poland in 1908, the fifth of seven children of a wealthy Jewish businessman. Zygmunt, his father, lost virtually everything in the chaos of the first world war and the young Joseph went from a life of privilege to one of grinding poverty. To make ends meet he worked for a while as an electrician but then, by dint of studying at night and set on becoming a scientist, he won a free place at the University of Warsaw.

He became a research fellow and then assistant director of the atomic physics institute at the Free University of Poland. In 1930 he married Tola Gryn, a literature student. Their plan was that she would join him when in 1939 he won a research fellowship at Liverpool University. When he went back to fetch her, she was too ill from appendicitis to accompany him. Two days after he left her, Hitler invaded Poland and he never saw her again. She became a victim of the Holocaust.

In Liverpool, he worked with James Chadwick, the man who discovered the neutron -- a vital step in the development of the atomic bomb. By November 1939 Rotblat was also working on the bomb, although only because he feared the Germans would produce one first. He did not believe the Allies should ever use a nuclear bomb.

When the US came into the war, British scientists, including Rotblat, joined the Manhattan project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Yet in 1944 he learnt that the Germans had given up trying to develop an atomic bomb which made further work on an Allied bomb pointless in his view. Worse, he heard General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan project, say that the real aim was to cow the Soviet Union. When Rotblat asked to resign, there was consternation -- and the Americans even made a backhanded attempt to fit him up as a Soviet spy.

He was allowed to go back to Liverpool on condition that he made no attempt to contact former colleagues in Los Alamos. He only heard about Hiroshima when it was announced on the BBC.

Rotblat and Bertrand Russell, the philosopher, contacted Albert Einstein and they drew up a manifesto calling for a conference of scientists to discuss nuclear disarmament. Rotblat was among the eminent scientists who signed, as did Einstein only a day before he died. The first conference was held in 1957 at Pugwash in Nova Scotia.

Rotblat worked for peace to the very end of his life. Earlier this year he wrote to US President George Bush expressing fears that the neo-conservative agenda would continue to be aggressively implemented and urging him to have the "courage and understanding" to support the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.


Post a Comment

<< Home