Confronting the Peril of Nuclear Weapons


At the most dangerous time in the Cold War, with both sides armed with large stockpiles of nuclear weapons, the only place on the planet where representatives of East and West met and talked things over was the tiny Nova Scotia village of Pugwash.

This concise account of how that came to be, and what the meetings between top atomic scientists entailed, written by J. Patrick Boyer, also shows how the initial gatherings were inspired by a manifesto signed by a dozen individuals including Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Joseph Rotblat, and paid for by Cyrus Eaton, who grew up on a Nova Scotia farm but became an American millionaire industrialist. From those beginnings was spawned the global Pugwash Movement, still active today in the quest to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

The author, for some years chair of the Pugwash Park Commission which operates “Thinkers’ Lodge” in the village, was invited by Rotblat to become a member of the international Pugwash Movement. Patrick Boyer is also a relative of the late Cyrus Eaton.

The Pugwash story is told by Boyer in succession

  • A Humanistic ‘Manifesto’ from Scientists

  • A Capitalist Heeds the Call to Conscience

  • A Continuous Connection with Nova Scotia

  • An Emphasis on Education

  • Setting a Pattern for the Pugwash Movement

  • World Scientists in Pugwash

  • Birth of the World Pugwash Movement

  • The Work Begins, And So Does the Controversy

  • Thinkers’ Lodge and a Growing Pugwash Movement

  • Joseph Rotblat’s Central Role

  • The Struggles Behind a Name

  • The Essence of the Matter

  • Thinkers’ Lodge a Symbol for Pugwash Movement

  • Making “a New Way of Thinking” into a Reality


Publisher: Canadian Shield Books, 2006
World history, military affairs and disarmament,
$5.95, Canada and U.S.A.
Booklet, 12 pages, 5½ x 8 inches


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