Sir Joseph Rotblat was a remarkable man. As a young scientist, he worked on the Manhattan Project, the top secret American-British atomic bomb project during World War II. Jo was the only scientists to leave the Project on moral grounds. By the end of 1944, it became clear that Germany had abandoned the development of its own bomb. Jo Rotblat resigned in December.
Jo was also a pioneer in the use of radioactive materials in medicine. And he studied the effects of nuclear fallout. In the mid-1950s, he became a leading figure in the Pugwash movement highlighting the social responsibilities of scientists. A great talent was his ability to convince others that high ideals are achievable:
We scientists, young and old, must nurture a vision of a better world…. A world without war, a society based on care and equity, a community that will protect the environment. And we should make it our task to turn this vision into reality.
Jo was still actively campaigning for peace when he died in August 2005, at the age of 96. A memorial service to celebrate Jo’s life, held at the
Royal Society, brought together people from all over the world who had been deeply moved by his work. You can read many tributes to him