Joseph Rotblat, a graduate from the University of Warsaw, in 1933-1939 was a Research Fellow of Radiological Laboratory of Scientific Society of Warsaw. He moved to the University of Liverpool in 1939 to become the University’s Director of Research in Nuclear Physics (1945-1949).
Professor of Physics at the University of London from 1950 to 1976, in 1966 he became a foreign member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
A British citizen from 1946, for his entire life Professor Rotblat emphasised his ties with Poland. He criticised nuclear arms race and the concept of nuclear deterrence.
The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs is named after a Canadian village, the venue of the first Pugwash meeting in 1957. The organisation was founded by Joseph Rotblat and the philosopher Bertrand Russell, inspired by the Russell-Einstein Manifesto against weapons of mass destruction issued in 1955.
Pugwash Conferences aims to bring together influential global scientists and public figures committed to working to reduce the risk of armed conflicts and seeking for common solutions for global problems.
The organisation laid the groundwork for the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963, the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968, and the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, to name just a few. It also played a role in the launch of the SALT arms limitation talks and the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.
In recent years, the Pugwash Conference expanded its focus on problems of the developing world, environment protection and energy. The organisation was chaired by Joseph Rotblat from 1988 to 1997.