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Российская академия наук

Президиум РАН

63-я Пагуошская конференция учёных

Михаил Дмитриевич
(1913 - 1973), президент
Пагуошского движения ученых, председатель
Советского Пагуошского комитета

Обзор мероприятий Российского Пагуошского комитета - М.А. Лебедев, ответственный секретарь Комитета (на англ. яз.)

Опубликовано: Pugwash Newsletter, June 2006 (Vol. 43, no.1), p. 75-76.

The Russian Pugwash Committee

Mikhail Lebedev

In 2005, the Russian Pugwash Committee, along with the world-wide international scientific and non-governmental community, marked the 50th anniversary of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto. The Organizing Committee for jubilee events was headed by Academicians Nickolay Plate and Yuri Ryzhov, and Professor Sergey Kapitza, Alexander Nikitin, and Alexander Ginzburg. Meetings were sponsored by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the International Federation for Peace and Conciliation.

With deep grief, Committee members learned of the death of Sir Joseph Rotblat on August 31, 2005. He was our good friend and colleague. On October 4 we organized a memorial service “The Russell-Einstein Manifesto and the Legacy of Sir J. Rotblat”. Famous scientists, including member of the Pugwash Council Prof. F. Calogero, gave talks in memory of Jo. Participants at this memorial decided to organize an annual Russian Rotblat memorial lecture series in the future.

A scientific session of the RAS Presidium titled “International Security, Non-Proliferation and Social Responsibility of Scientists” was held on November 29, 2005 as the main jubilee event in Russia of the Russell-Einstein 50th anniversary. In his opening address Chairman of the Russian Pugwash Committee and member of the Pugwash Council Academician Yu. Ryzhov stressed that scientists bear high moral and professional authority and therefore can exercise unbiased influence on politics. In his view Russia now faces an enormous problem of dialogue between the government and society – in this case the gap is almost as great as in the income rates of the rich and the poor. Such gaps are fraught with unpredictable consequences, and Pugwash must pay attention to this problem.

Vice President of the RAS, Academician N. Plate, noted the lack of global ideas in world affairs which could gather the support of the entire international community. To help fill this need, Pugwash should seek new dynamics in the aspiration for the resolution of global problems, especially the problems of terrorism and extremism. He also mentioned that the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian scientific community must expand the participation in Pugwash of high levels of scientific and moral leadership.

Professor S. Kapitza touched on the crucial differences between the scientific community and political elites when analyzing the relations between these two groups. Scientists possess a freedom of action and opinion not available to political leaders, which is one reason that politicians do not always want, or are able, to acknowledge the importance of the advice and recommendations of scientists. Accordingly, Pugwash must continue to play a key role in supporting high-level and positive dialogue between scientists and political leaders.

Other Committee meetings celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto were held at the Federation for Peace and Conciliation (Moscow), University for Aerospace Instrumentation (St. Petersburg), and Obninsk Center for Science and Technology (Kaluga Region). More then 100 participants attended these meetings to discuss scientific cooperation and terrorism counter-measures, as well as the development of new technologies in Russia.

On November 10-14, 2005, I visited Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. This visit was sponsored by the Grozny State Oil Institute, which bears the name of Academician M. Millionshchikov, Chairman of the Soviet Pugwash Committee in 1964 - 1973. Discussions with members of the Government of Chechnya and leaders of science and education were characterized by the necessity for reconstruction of the Republic’s economy, educational system, and society. Murders, kidnappings, government corruption and the slow process of the reconstruction of dwellings and industry are very serious problems for Chechnya. Especially valuable would be the creation of civil society organizations and special programs for the rehabilitation of Chechen youth. In spite of a painful impression after my visit to destroyed Grozny, I have a ‘prudent optimism’ that Russian and Chechen leaders can carry the newly-started peace process to its conclusion.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that the Russian Pugwash Committee has started its own scientific and media internet project in Russian and English at www.pugwash.ru , and that the Russian Pugwash Committee will organize a series of event and publications in 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Pugwash Conferences.


Mikhail LEBEDEV is Executive Secretary of the Russian Pugwash Committee and Head of the Program on International Security, Cooperation and Regional Problems of the International Federation for Peace and Conciliation, Moscow


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