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10 - Joseph Rotblat


Joseph Rotblat

(1908 - )


In 1939, Joseph Rotblat was researching atomic physics at Liverpool University. Born in Poland, he was with British scientists who went to the USA in 1944 to build a nuclear bomb at Los Alamos (The Manhattan Project). Realising that Nazi Germany was unlikely itself to produce such a weapon of mass destruction -so 'deterrence' was not necessary - he left on morals grounds, the first scientist to do so. Falsely accused of communist sympathies, he was barred from the USA for many years.

Rotblat signed the Russell-Einstein Manifesto (1955), warning politicians of the dangers of nuclear weapons. He became a central figure in the Pugwash movement of scientists opposed to the nuclear arms race (Pugwash, named after the village in Canada where they first met, was co-recipient of the Prize).

Rotblat's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded exactly 50 years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"The establishment of an ethical code of conduct for scentists is an idea whose time has come." (1999)

Note: Like Nobel himself, Rotblat made the move from explosives to peacemaking.
Question: To what extent should scientists consider the moral implications of the researcg?.
Created by toussa01
Last modified 2005-01-13 08:26 PM

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