Zuckerman Archive: Pugwash Movement

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1187 SZ/PUG
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      2 boxes; five files; 1.5 linear feet

Scope and Content

Sub-file SZ/PUG/1/1, General correspondence, 1970, 1982-83, 1985, 1988-89, is a slim file of correspondence with various people connected with the Pugwash movement. Sub-file SZ/PUG/1/2, Correspondence with Dr Martin Kaplan, 1979-1990, is substantial and is indicative of SZ's active connection with the movement, especially during the 1980s; Martin Kaplan was Director-General of the Pugwash Conferences. Sub-file SZ/PUG/1/3 relates to repeated efforts to secure the Nobel Peace Prize for the Pugwash movement between 1985 and 1992; nominations were officially submitted by Solly Zuckerman.

File SZ/PUG/2, Conferences, 1972-1992, relates to the 22nd Conference, Oxford, 1972, the 32nd Conference, Warsaw, 1982, the 38th Conference, Dagomys, USSR, 1988, the 40th Conference, London (Egham) 1990, and the 42nd Conference, Berlin, 1992.

Solly Zuckerman is known to have attended the 22nd and 40th conferences, and chaired an open session at the latter. SZ/PUG/2/4 is the most substantial of these files and is chiefly concerned with fund-raising for the London conference, which was organised by the British Pugwash Group. Zuckerman was a member of the advisory committee for the conference and was active in fund-raising for it.

File SZ/CSA/84 relates to the 7th and 8th Conferences, held at Stowe in 1961. Published proceedings of Pugwash Conferences are kept with that part of SZ's personal library at UEA, as are copies of Pugwash Newsletter.

SZ/PUG/3 relates to the following symposia: Dangers of Nuclear War by the Year 2000, Toronto 1978; New Weapon Systems and Means of Evaluating their Dangers, 10-12 December 1980; and the 47th Symposium, London, 5-8 December 1985. SZ participated in the 47th Symposium, which was entitled Strategic Defences: Technological Aspects; Political and Military Implications.

File SZ/PUG/4 Workshops, 1979-1992 relates to the worskshop Averting Nuclear War. The Role of the Media, Vienna, 11-12 October 1980, and the Nuclear Forces, 1st - 4th, 6th - 21st Workshops, 1979-1992. The Workshops on Nuclear Forces (until 1984 entitled Workshops on Nuclear Forces in Europe) were initially convened in response to the current crisis on nuclear deployments in Europe [letter, Martin Kaplan to Solly Zuckerman, 19 December 1979]. The first convened in January 1980. Zuckerman was invited to participate in all of the first 21 workshops. He was unable to attend the first two because of existing commitments, but thereafter was one of the regulars. Towards the end of his life his failing health caused him to miss the 17th and 18th workshops (June and July 1989), and the 20th and 21st (1991 and 1992).

File SZ/PUG/4 provides good evidence of the extent to which Solly Zuckerman was an unofficial roving ambassador for the British government after his retirement as Chief Scientific Adviser in 1970, and of his strenuous behind-the-scenes efforts in the field of disarmament. The Nuclear Forces Workshops, all but one of which were held in Geneva, were accompanied by off-course meetings, often attended by senior political figures; Zuckerman was instrumental in selecting, and securing the participation of, some of those from the UK. He routinely reported his impressions of these workshops to HMG, through the Cabinet Secretary or the Permanent Under Secretary (PUS) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Sub-file SZ/PUG/4/2 contains the bulk of material in this Series, and covers all but the fifth of the Workshops on Nuclear Forces. Sub-sub-file SZ/PUG/4/2/9, relating to the 10th workshop, includes material on the ad hoc Workshop on proposals for a Freeze on Nuclear Weapons that ran consecutively on 3-4 June, 1984.

Solly Zuckerman was a member of the British Pugwash Group and a founding Trustee of the British Pugwash Trust, established in 1987; a copy of the trust deed is in Sub-file SZ/PUG/5/1.File SZ/PUG/5 is comparatively slight, and the contents are concentrated in SZ/PUG/5/2, which consists almost entirely of correspondence with Professor Joseph Rotblat. Zuckerman took part in the discussion element of the Public Meeting on A Nuclear-Free-World, 11 December 1992, to which Sub-file SZ/PUG/5/3 relates.

File SZ/CSA/174 is complementary to this series.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, and the symposia, workshops and other meetings that they have spawned, are major channels of communication on issues relating to peace and world security. Solly Zuckerman's connection with the Pugwash movement began after his appointment as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence. Until his retirement from government service in 1970, his activities were constrained but thereafter, and particularly from the late 1970s, he became more closely involved, notably in the series of Workshops on Nuclear Forces.


  • SZ/PUG/1 Correspondence, 1970-1993 [in three sub-files]
  • SZ/PUG/2 Conferences, 1972-1992 [in five sub-files]
  • SZ/PUG/3 Symposia, 1980, 1985 [in three sub-files]
  • SZ/PUG/4 Workshops, 1979-1992 [in two sub-files]
  • SZ/PUG/5 British Pugwash Group, 1980, 1985-1992 [in three sub-files]

Access Information

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.



Conditions Governing Use

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.

Related Material

For details of the origin and aims of the Pugwash Conferences see two publications by the founding Secretary-General, Professor Joseph Rotblat, History of the Pugwash Conferences, Taylor and Francis, 1962, and Pugwash. A History of the Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 1967, copies of both of which are in that part of Solly Zuckerman's personal library bequeathed to UEA in 1993 and now joined with his Archive.