By Joseph Rotblat
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Additional resources for A Quest for Global Peace: Rotblat and Ikeda on War, Ethics and the Nuclear Threat
Many of the people involved in nuclear weapons research at Los Alamos were very emotionally conflicted about their role. And after the atomic blast, some people were filled with regret. But Professor Rotblat, you were the only one who acted upon your convictions and quit the Manhattan Project before the bomb was dropped. I know how much courage must have been required to defy the military and political authorities during the war. Soka Gakkai was opposed to Japanese militarism during the Second World War, and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, our first president died in prison, and our second president, Josei Toda spent two years incarcerated.
Rotblat: In a short span of time, the Toda Institute has established itself as an important force in tackling the enormous work of education, research, and publishing activities. I hold the Toda Institute’s accomplishments in high regard. Dr. Wertenstein provided constant support. I received my degree in 1932, and afterwards he helped me to obtain work in the research institute. fm Page 33 Friday, August 18, 2006 5:09 PM LIVING HISTORY 33 The salary was a pittance, but at least I was able to begin conducting scientific research.
Eyes opened to possibilities of science Rotblat: That’s true. In my case, reading books as a youth helped open my eyes to the possibilities of science. I told myself, “If science has such power and promise, why are these science-fiction stories merely fiction? ” This is when I began to view science as not only a discipline for discovering truth, but also as a means to save humankind. I was hopeful that science could be used to create a world in which war was unnecessary, people’s hardships would be alleviated, and happiness would be universal.