Joseph (Józef) Rotblat. 4 November 1908 — 31 August 2005

R. A. Hinde, J. L. Finney

Elected FRS 1995


Joseph Rotblat, having suffered considerable hardships in his youth in Warsaw, graduated in physics from the Free University of Warsaw. On a fellowship to work with James (later Sir James) Chadwick FRS in Liverpool, he joined the Manhattan Project early in 1944. Resigning as a matter of conscience when he learned that the bomb was not needed as a deterrent against Hitler's Germany, he subsequently devoted the rest of his life to radiation physics and radiobiology and to the abolition of nuclear weapons and of war itself. He was one of the founders and the moving spirit of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, with whom he shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.