Pugwash Conferences

The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs Pugwash: 1958-2005         

Since the first meeting in 1957, the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs have endeavored to become an international venue for influential scholars and public figures to discuss, as individuals and not as government or organization representatives, ways to reduce the danger of armed conflict and to seek cooperative solutions for global problems.

With more than five Fellows at the first meeting in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, the Academy has maintained a strong presence in the conferences and was home to the U.S. Pugwash Committee for many years. Over the succeeding decades, Pugwash conferences, workshops, and symposia made vital contributions to the evolving framework of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons arms control, including the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty, the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention, among others.

In the 1980s, U.S. Pugwash came under the purview of the Academy’s Committee on International Security Studies. Throughout the Cold War, the Academy, as the U.S. sponsor of Pugwash, supported the principle of continued dialogue between the East and West as a necessary condition for avoiding nuclear war. The major contributions of Pugwash were internationally recognized in 1995 when the organization and then Pugwash President Joseph Rotblat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Rotblat, an Academy Foreign Honorary Member, had been involved with Pugwash since attending the initial 1957 conference.

A symposium on "Social Values and Technology Choice in an International Context" was held June 8-10, 1978. The purpose of the symposium was to consider the ways in which social values do and should influence the conscious choice of different forms of technology by nations and by groups of nations.