Andrew Brown on Joseph Rotblat

Keeper of the Nuclear Conscience: The Life and Work of Joseph Rotblat
February 2012
Book by: Andrew Brown, associate, Project on Managing the Atom
Topic: Joseph Rotblat

“Joseph Rotblat was the Jewish nuclear scientist whose disillusionment with nuclear weapons encouraged him to become one of the prime architects of the anti-nuclear movement, and resulted in his lifelong efforts to promote social responsibility in science. His founding of Pugwash and his humanitarian work ultimately led to his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Rotblat’s life, from his boyhood in Warsaw under siege and occupation in World War I to an active old age that brought honours and public recognition, is a compelling human story in itself. What gave it significance is the single-minded dedication to peaceful causes, particularly through his pursuit of nuclear disarmament. A key member of the British team that demonstrated the feasibility of the atomic bomb, he was so appalled by the use of the bombs against the Japanese that he founded the Pugwash organization to engage scientists from East and West to prohibit weapons of mass destruction.” 

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The book was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal (March 30, 2012) and the Economist (March 31, 2012).

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