Sir Josef Rotblat †
Professor Sir Joseph Rotblat was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1908 and has during most of his life struggled against nuclear proliferation and in favour of more ethical conduct of science. He began his long career as a physicist. During World War II he initiated work on the atom bomb at Liverpool University, and later transferred to the Los Alamos laboratory in the US. There he joined the Manhattan project, with the purpose of developing nuclear weapons before Hitler.
When it became clear that Germany would not manage to develop such weapons, he resigned from the project – the only scientist to do so before the bomb was tested. Joseph Rotblat had since devoted half a century to averting the danger posed by nuclear weapons. In the 1950s, Rotblat worked with Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russel and was a driving force behind the 1955 Russel-Einstein manifesto on nuclear weapons and the responsibility of scientists. In 1957, Joseph Rotblat founded the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and has worked with the organisation since then. In 1995, Rotblat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the Pugwash movement. Research ethics had always been in the centre for Joseph Rotblat, who in recent years had increasingly turned his attention towards the responsiblity of the scientist in the development of new technologies, such as biotechnology. During his long career, Rotblat has authored nearly 400 publications.
Sir Josef Rotblat died in summer 2005.