Nobel Peace Prize 1995
The Nobel Peace Prize 1995 was awarded in two equal parts, to Joseph Rotblat, and to the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs ‘for their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and, in the longer run, to eliminate such arms’. The Nobel Committee recognised that Jo Rotblat had been the leading figure in Pugwash movement, and was still its active president, at the age of 87.
In his presentation address, Francis Sejersted, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said,
Our world has for fifty years now been living in the knowledge that weapons exist powerful enough to wipe out human life on earth. The atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki meant the end of the Second World War, but also changed man's relation to his surroundings. Man's creature, his liberating technology, turned against him. The huge threat was clear enough for anyone to see who could bear to look.
Indeed the United Nations' first resolution, unanimously adopted by the General Assembly on the 24th of January 1946, concerned the establishment of a commission to propose the elimination of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction.
It is the Committee's hope that the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1995 to Rotblat and to Pugwash will encourage world leaders to intensify their efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Jo titled his acceptance speech ‘Remember your humanity’, and began in a typically personal and moving way.
At this momentous event in my life I want to speak as a scientist, but also as a human being. From my earliest days I had a passion for science. But science, the exercise of the supreme power of the human intellect, was always linked in my mind with benefit to people. I saw science as being in harmony with humanity. I did not imagine that the second half of my life would be spent on efforts to avert a mortal danger to humanity created by science.