About Pugwash

The purpose of the Pugwash Conferences is to bring together, from around the world, influential scholars and public figures concerned with reducing the danger of armed conflict and seeking cooperative solutions for global problems. Meeting in private as individuals, rather than as representatives of governments or institutions, Pugwash participants exchange views and explore alternative approaches to arms control and tension reduction with a combination of candor, continuity, and flexibility seldom attained in official East-West and North-South discussions and negotiations. Yet, because of the stature of many of the Pugwash participants in their own countries (as, for example, science and arms-control advisers to governments, key figures in academies of science and universities, and former and future holders of high government office), insights from Pugwash discussions tend to penetrate quickly to the appropriate levels of official policy-making.
Mission Statement

The mission of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs is to bring scientific insight and reason to bear on threats to human security arising from science and technology in general, and above all from the catastrophic threat posed to humanity by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. It was in recognition of this mission that Pugwash and its co-founder, Sir Joseph Rotblat, were awarded the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize.
Goals of Pugwash in its Tenth Quinquennium: 2002-2007

At the beginning of each quinquennium, the Pugwash Council issues a statement relating the enduring mission and objectives of Pugwash to its evolving agenda in the context of recent international developments. The following contains the goals of Pugwash for its Tenth Quinquennium, from 2002 to 2007, adopted at a plenary session of the 52nd Pugwash Conference at the University of California, San Diego, in August 2002.
Origins of Pugwash

The first half of Pugwash's four-decade history coincided with some of the most frigid years of the Cold War, marked by the Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the invasion of Czechoslovakia, and the Vietnam War. In this period of strained official relations and few unofficial channels, the fora and lines of communication provided by Pugwash played useful background roles in helping lay the groundwork for the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963, the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972, the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, and the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. Subsequent trends of generally improving East-West relations and the emergence of a much wider array of unofficial channels of communication have somewhat reduced Pugwash's visibility while providing alternate pathways to similar ends, but Pugwash meetings have continued until the present to play an important role in bringing together key analysts and policy advisers for sustained, in-depth discussions of the crucial arms-control issues of the day: European nuclear forces, chemical and biological weaponry, space weapons, conventional force reductions and restructuring, and crisis control in the Third World, among others. Pugwash has, moreover, for many years extended its remit to include problems of development and the environment.
The Invitation to Pugwash (Cyrus Eaton's Letter to Bertrand Russell)

As a trustee of The University of Chicago, I take great pride in your one-time association with that institution, and I have long felt a special interest in your many brilliant achievements. I have read all of your fascinating books again and again.