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Warsaw-born scientist commemorated in London

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 07.11.2017 17:13
A plaque commemorating Sir Joseph Rotblat, a Warsaw-born scientist who in 1995 won a Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning against nuclear weapons, has been unveiled in London.
Photo: geralt/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative CommonsPhoto: geralt/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative Commons

The plaque is placed on the UK offices of the Pugwash organisation, which Rotblat chaired for many years, on the corner of Bury Place and Great Russell Street.

The unveiling ceremony on Monday was attended by officials including the Polish ambassador to Britain, Arkady Rzegocki.

Rzegocki described Rotblat (1908-2005) as “a man who changed the way scientists viewed their work and who strived for global peace, an outstanding scientist who recognised that science is not an activity to be carried out in isolation from the world we live in.”

According to Rzegocki, Rotblat “believed passionately in the importance of scientists debating openly and objectively their different views about the consequences of their work.”

Rotblat was a graduate of the University of Warsaw. In 1938, he gained a doctorate in physics from his alma mater. He then moved to the UK, working on the atomic bomb project, subsequently joining the Manhattan Project in the United States.

In 1944, Rotblat retired from his work, motivated by ethical reasons, and, after the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, became an outspoken critic of the use of nuclear weapons and a peace activist. He died in London in 2005, aged 96.

The plaque is the result of collaboration between the Polish Heritage Society in the UK, a charity dedicated to celebrating the achievements of Poles in the UK and their contribution to British life, the Polish embassy in Britain, and British Pugwash.

British Pugwash, the UK arm of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, seeks to use scientific expertise to inform the government and the public about issues related to weapons of mass destruction, the environment and the social responsibility of scientists.


Source: PAP, london.mfa.gov.pl

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