Science for Peace

SCIENCE FOR PEACE SEEKS TO MOBILIZE CANADIAN scientists for research and education in the cause of peace. There are now about 600 members from coast to coast, largely physical and social scientists; there are active local chapters in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Québec, Toronto, Ottawa, Guelph, Waterloo, and Brock University. The national office is in University College at the University of Toronto. As an organization devoted to education and research, Science for Peace has charitable status under the Income Tax Act. New members or donations to support our aims are welcome; the membership fee is $25, tax deductible ($5 for students and retired persons). Members receive a monthly Science for Peace Bulletin to keep them abreast of activities across the country.

SCIENCE FOR PEACE WAS FOUNDED IN 1981 BY A SMALL group of scientists led by Eric Fawcett Since then, growth has been steady. Eric was succeeded as President by Anatol Rapoport in 1984 and by George Ignatieff in 1986. We can mention only a few of the activities that developed under these leaders. From the first, Science for Peace was interested in establishing Peace Studies as an important academic endeavor. An outcome of this commitment was the establishment of a Chair of Peace Studies in 1985 and the launching in 1986 of a program in Peace and Conflict Studies, both in University College. Anatol Rapoport is the first Professor of Peace Studies, and Terry Gardner coordinates the Program. The same interest led to Inter-University Workshops in Peace Education at York University in 1983 and at Brock in 1984. In the field of public education, several of the Chapters schedule regular public lectures and panel discussions. The ambitious weekly lectures in Toronto convened by Eric Fawcett are sponsored by other peace groups; digests of many of these appear in PEACE Magazine, all are taped, and some are broadcast on CIUT-EM in the Pcacetide program (Fridays at 6:15 pm., 89.5 Mhz.)

SCIENCE FOR PEACE HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN ORGANIZING workshops and conferences, such as those on Chemical Warfare in 1982 and on Nuclear Winter in 1986. A major international conference on Defending Europe: Options for Security in Toronto in 1985 was organized by Derek Paul (published by Taylor & Francis, 1985); another on the danger of Accidental Nuclear War in Vancouver in 1986 was organized by Mike Wallace for the B.C. Chapter. The B.C. Chapter also assisted Physicians for Social Responsibility with the March 1983 conference 'The Prevention of Nuclear War" and with the October 1984 "Nuclear War. The Search for Solutions" (both published by the B.C. Chapter of P.S.R.). A workshop on "Nuclear Winter and the Nuclear Deterrent" was organized by John Dove and held in Toronto in May, 1986. Currently in the planning stages is another major international conference, this time on Peace and Security in the Arctic, to be held probably in September 1986. Participants will include all nations with Arctic interests, as well as native peoples. Franklyn Griffiths is planning it.

Eric Fawcett was responsible for establishing the Science for Peace International Network (SPIN) to facilitate the exchange of information between about 30 member peace organizations world-wide. Science for Peace has increasingly been participating in international fora. For example, Dr. Ignatieff attended the CIIPS-SIPRJ symposium on the Comprehensive Test Ban (Monthello, 1986), the seminar on arms control of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. (1986), and the Pugwash Conference in Austria (1987) at which he was elected to the Pugwash Council. Members also attended the International Forum to Stop Nuclear Tests in Moscow in 1986, and its successor, which was attended by Hanna Newcombe and Eric Fawcett in 1987. Derek Paul was a member of the Initiating Committee for both. Eric Fawcett represented SPIN at the Five Continents Conference (Athens, 1986) and at the study group of the Global Challenges Network in Munich in July.

Most of the peace-oriented research activities of members appear as individual publications, too numerous to review here; many are available through the national office. Some joint ventures may be of interest. A study of "The Cruise Missile: A Canadian Perspective" was issued by the B.C. Chapter in 1983. The proposal for an International Satellite Monitoring Agency (1SMA) has been an active interest since our inception. A brief on ISMA was presented to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and Defence in 1982, and more recent activities include workshops in 1986 and 1987. The first of these recommended deployment of RADAR-SAT, Canada's synthetic-aperture radar system: the Government obliged in June this year. The second recommends that "research and development for arms control verification and crisis monitoring be included as part of the mandate of the proposed Canadian space agency." We shall see! Two recent studies, supported and published by CIIPS, are a "Directory of Peace Education Programs in Canada," prepared by Colin Bell of the B.C. Chapter, and "Directory of Canadian Scientific Expertise: Peace and Security Aspects," by Walter Dorn. Two studies for the Ontario Nuclear Safety Review are now nearing completion. The Research Director of Science for Peace, Paul LeBlond has organized a network of Associates to help define goals and coordinate efforts across the country. The Education Director, Anatol Rapoport, is now establishing a parallel Education Network. A joint meeting of these networks will take place in September.

SOME CHAPTER activities have already been mentioned. Each Chapter has its own program, of course, and there is room here only to give one or two examples. Science for Peace has this year inaugurated the Peace from Science Award, presented at the International Science Fair in Québec in July; the Ottawa Chapter acts on behalf of the organization, in cooperation with the National Youth Science Foundation, to make this possible. Under the aegis of the Québec Chapter, a group at UQAM studies the economic impact of military industry in Canada and Paul Cappon has led in developing the Montreal Centre for Nuclear Disarmament and Community Health (which recently organized a visit to Moscow by thirty Québec schoolchildren).

SCIENCE FOR PEACE HAS RECENTLY TAKEN OVER administration ofthe Franz Blumenfeld Peace Fund, set up by Hans Blumenfeld in memory of his brother who died in World War I. The purpose remains to offer financial assistance to educational or research projects directed to world peace. Donations are welcome; tax receipts are issued.) Science for Peace has special reason to rejoice in the award of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry to John Polanyi, who was one of our founding members and whose consistent efforts against the military buildup are well-known. John is assisting Science for Peace and others in the establishment of a fund directed especially to assisting scientists who wish to step outside their narrow professional roles to engage their skills in the cause of peace.

As an organization, Science for Peace has grown in size and scope, and developed some sophistication about the search for an end to the arms race. As individuals, its members have learned to deal with frustration and pessimism. They have seen the world grow more perilous year by year, and have learned that the only way to cope is to generate hope by our combined efforts to "do something about it."

Peace Magazine Oct-Nov 1987

Peace Magazine Oct-Nov 1987, page 27. Some rights reserved.

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