Origin of the Pugwash Conferences
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. (July 2011)
The Russell–Einstein Manifesto, released July 9, 1955, called for a conference for scientists to assess the dangers of weapons of mass destruction (then only considered to be nuclear weapons). Cyrus Eaton, an industrialist and philanthropist, offered on July 13 to finance and host the conference in the town of his birth, Pugwash, Nova Scotia. This was not taken up at the time because a meeting was planned for India, at the invitation of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. With the outbreak of the Suez Crisis the Indian conference was postponed. Aristotle Onassis offered to finance a meeting in Monaco instead, but this was rejected. Eaton's former invitation was taken up.
The first conference was held at what became known as Thinkers' Lodge in July 1957 in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. Twenty-two scientists attended the first conference:
- seven from the United States (
David F. Cavers, Paul M. Doty, Hermann J. Muller, Eugene Rabinowitch,
Walter Selove, Leó Szilárd, Victor F. Weisskopf)
- three from the Soviet Union (Alexander M. Kuzin (Александр М. Кузин), Dmitri V. Skobeltsyn, Alexander V. Topchiev (Александр В. Топчиев))
- three from Japan (
Iwao Ogawa, Shinichiro Tomonaga, Hideki Yukawa)
- two from the UK (Cecil F. Powell, Joseph Rotblat)
- two from Canada (Brock Chisholm, John S. Foster)
- one each from Australia (Mark L. E. Oliphant), Austria (Hans Thirring), China (Zhou Pei-Yuan), France (
Antoine M. B. Lacassagne) and Poland (Marian Danysz).
Cyrus Eaton, Eric Burhop, Ruth Adams, Anne Kinder Jones, and Vladimir Pavlichenko also were present. Many others were unable to attend, including co-founder Bertrand Russell, for health reasons.