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Pugwash conferences on science and world affairs, 1957-1992


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The Pugwash movement had its origins in the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, issued in July 1955. This called for a conference of international scientists to discuss the dangers of conflict that had arisen from scientific work, with particular reference to the then recently developed hydrogen bomb. The first conference was held in July 1957 in the Canadian town of Pugwash, Nova Scotia, thus giving the movement its name. The conferences became annual events, widening in scope to include development and environmental issues. This paralleled a significant increase in the number of participants.

Hodgkin first attended a Pugwash conference in 1962, but did not involve herself in the movement to any great degree until hesitantly agreeing (MS. Eng. c. 5686/5) to her election as President at the Madras conference in 1976 (MS. Eng. c. 5680/4-5). From the mid 1960s Hodgkin had been committed to the problem of the war in Vietnam, thus precluding major non-scientific commitments elsewhere. She held the post of President until 1988, and the material documenting her activities here is extensive. Of particular interest is the documentation of the Warsaw conference of 1982 (MS. Eng. c. 5681/3), which followed the imposition of martial law in Poland.

As President, Hodgkin attended most Council and Executive Committee meetings and presided over the opening sessions of the annual conferences, as well as presiding over and giving the closing address at the final plenary sessions. Typescript or manuscript drafts survive for many of these.


  • Creation: 1957-1992

Language of Materials

  • English

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom