• HMS Vanguard at Faslane naval base

    We use the best scientific expertise to inform the government and the public about issues relating to weapons of mass destruction, war and peace, the environment and the social responsibility of scientists.

  • RAF Reaper at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan

    We use the best scientific expertise to inform the government and the public about issues relating to weapons of mass destruction, war and peace, the environment and the social responsibility of scientists.

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Our Patrons

We are proud to have the support of seven Patrons, all of whom are eminent figures from the worlds of science and defence.

Our Patrons are:
• Lord Martin Rees OM FRS
• Sir Colin Blakemore FMedSci FRS
• Dame Athene Donald DBE FRS
• Sir Timothy Gowers FRS
• Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith FRS
• General Sir Nick Parker KCB CBE
• Sir Hew Strachan DL FRSE FRHistS

Our Activities

Our activities include studies of science and policy issues, regular public discussion and education meetings, and engagement with politicians and government officials.

Our publications include in-depth scientific and policy research, as well as newsletters, our Annual Reports and reports from conferences and events.

Our youth wing, SYP UK, is also extremely active and publishes updates on news and events here

Our Projects

Current projects include research on the ethics of armed robotic systems, the potential impact of emerging technologies on nuclear weapon systems, the climate-nuclear nexus and continued work on future energy options for the UK.

Recent projects include the WMD Awareness public education campaign and efforts to establish a British Disarmament Institute.

Membership

The British Pugwash Group is a membership organisation that brings together scientists and others concerned with international affairs and disarmament.

We are led by our Executive Committee and receive the support of seven Patrons.

Latest publications, events and news
Students at SYP conference

Call for presentations: Pugwash Peace Workshops – SYP UK 2021

In March 2021, SYP UK will hold a series of online workshops to explore challenges and opportunities relating to international co-operation, arms control and peace.

In the spirit of our ‘in person’ Annual Conferences (here), we hope to bring together a selection of presentations from students, young researchers, practitioners and experts from across the UK and world.…

VIDEO: Ethics & Digital – Feminist cybersecurity and Decolonising AI (5th Nov)

In this SYP UK webinar, Dr Kanta Dihal (Leverhulme Future of Intelligence Centre) discussed her work on Decolonising AI and Julia Slupska (Digital Ethics Lab) talked about feminist cybersecurity.

The Chair was Niamh Healy (UCL), SYP UK President.…

face with stars in brain image

VIDEO: Science and Indigenous Peoples (24th Nov)

In this webinar, SYP UK hosted Riley Taitingfong and Dr Hilding Neilson discussed science and technology from the perspective of Indigenous communities.

Riley Taitingfong, a PhD candidate at UCSD (here), introduced her work on gene drives on Pacific Ocean islands in the context of historic and ongoing impacts of settler colonialism and military experimentation.…

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VIDEO: Codes for Coders – Killer robots, ethics and the law (17th Nov)

This SYP webinar looked at the role of tech workers and STEM students in efforts to challenge the rise of lethal autonomous weapons (‘killer robots’).

Our guest speaker was Taniel Yusef (WILPF UK), who is researching the views of and current regulatory frameworks for STEMists working on robot-relevant tech.…

Adina Pintilie

VIDEO: Ethical responsibility in open source (nuclear) research (9th Nov)

In this webinar, SYP UK hosted Adina Pintilie, who specialises in applying open sources to research tasks at Ridgeway Information (bio here). Her work involves finding new tools and refining novel research techniques, particularly supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).…

British Pugwash newsletter – November 2020

Topics covered in the British Pugwash November 2020 Newsletter include:

  • Remembering Frank Barnaby
  • Nuclear Responsibilities Report Launch (BASIC)
  • BPG’s AGM and Lecture on nuclear waste policies
  • Festival of Ethical Science
  • NPT RevCon 2021 – provisional date
  • VIDEO: China’s nuclear weapons, with Dr Tong Zhao (SYP UK)

The newsletter can be found online here

Report & Briefings: Pugwash workshop on hypersonic weapons

hypersonic missileIn December 2019, International Pugwash hosted a workshop on hypersonic weapons in Geneva.

The meeting brought together 30 participants from various continents, including current and former government officials, scientists, engineers, academics and experts from think tanks and other non-governmental organisations.…

Kazakh & UK flags merged

Video: Post-Covid multilateral cooperation – a chance to achieve a nuclear-weapons-free world?

On 8th September 2020 and to mark the International Day Against Nuclear Testing, SOAS University and the UK Embassy of Kazakhstan hosted a webinar on titled, “Post-COVID Multilateral Cooperation – A Chance To Achieve A Nuclear-Weapons-Free World?”…

Sahil Shah

VIDEO: Iran and Nuclear Weapons (SYP webinar)

On 3rd August (5pm), Student/Young Pugwash (SYP) hosted its third webinar.

The guest speaker was Sahil Shah, a Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network and expert on the Iran Nuclear Deal (‘JCPOA’).…

Robot with UK flag

Video: Killer robots? (SYP Webinar)

SYP UK held its second webinar, on the ethical, political and technical issues around lethal autonomous weapons (or ‘killer robots’), on 30th June 2020.

Speakers included:

  • Laura Nolan, a software engineer who recently resigned from Google in protest over its involvement with the US DoD’s ‘Project Maven’ – Starts at 0min20s – Slides here
  • Elizabeth Minor, an Advisor at Article 36, an NGO that works to develop new legal standards to prevent civilian harm from weapons – Starts at 20mins30s – Slides here
  • David Ellwood, a theoretical physicist, mathematician, and Exec Committee member of British Pugwash (former Research Director of the Clay Mathematics Institute) – Starts at 37mins – Slides here

The webinar was chaired by Orlanda Gill, a University of Warwick graduate.…

Sebastian Brixey-Williams

Video: The pandemic and non-proliferation (SYP webinar)

SYP UK held its first webinar, on the topic how COVID-19 is affecting the fields of arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament (16th June 2020)

The guest speaker was Sebastian Brixey-Williams, Co-Director of the arms control think tank British American Security Information Council (BASIC).…

British Pugwash Newsletter – May 2020

Topics covered in the British Pugwash May 2020 Newsletter include:

  • Pugwash statement on the Open Skies Treaty and New START
  • Pugwash statement on NPT Review postponement and risks post-pandemic
  • Obituary – Julian Perry Robinson
  • Dr Frank Boulton on ‘Nuclear war and public health’
  • A selection of relevant articles

The newsletter can be found online here

hypersonic missile

New Video: Hypersonic Missiles vs Strategic Stability

Student/Young Pugwash UK has released a video of Matteo Frigoli discussing his research on developments with hypersonic missiles. The presentation is based on research commissioned by British Pugwash.

The presentation covers:

  • Technical issues
  • Destabilising potential of hypersonics
  • US, Russian and Chinese perspectives
  • Arms control options

Enjoy!…

British Pugwash Group Annual Report 2019

Topics covered include:

  • International developments vis-a-vis arms control
  • Student/Young Pugwash UK
  • Pugwash mission to Moscow
  • Hypersonic missiles research
  • EuroPugwash conference
  • British Pugwash development / changes

Download or read the report

Multimedia from Technology & Peace Conference (SYP UK), 7 March 2020

Student / Young Pugwash UK held its fifth Annual Conference in March 2020, titled ‘Warwick Technology & Peace Conference‘, in association with the Warwick Pugwash Student Society. 

It was a multidisciplinary conference about the risks posted by emerging technologies, as well as political and technical solutions to control them.…

Lord Martin Rees

British Pugwash welcomes new Patrons from science and defence

British Pugwash Group is delighted to announce the appointment of seven Patrons, all of whom are leading figures from the worlds of science or defence.

Our Patrons are public supporters and advocates for the work of British Pugwash, which seeks to apply independent, scientifically-informed analysis to some of the most challenging issues in international security, arms control and environmental sustainability.…

New research: Hypersonic weapon systems – Implications and arms control (Dec 2019)

Student/Young Pugwash UK is delighted to release a new report on developments with hypersonic missile technology. The paper covers the latest technologies, the key states involved, the risks posed and the potential ways forward for arms control and non-proliferation.…

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Multimedia available – Ethical Science? – Nottingham University – 23rd October 2019

British Pugwash co-hosted with University of Nottingham Physics Department a mini-conference about ethical issues in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The conference was open to all ages and disciplines. The agenda is below.…

Pugwash at APPG on drones: ‘Drones, swarming and the future of warfare’

Our Executive Committee member, Sebastian Brixey-Williams, spoke about some of his recent research on marine drones to a meeting organised by three different All Party Parliamentary Groups.

The presentation touched on some of his Pugwash-funded research on how trends in unmanned underwater vehicles might impact submarine-based nuclear weapons systems.…

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The Salisbury poisonings – Multimedia from public lecture – SOAS, 15th April 2019

On 26th April 2019, British Pugwash co-hosted a public lecture at SOAS, titled:

The Salisbury poisonings – one year after 

Click for audio and slides

Our guest speaker was Dr Richard Guthrie, a member of British Pugwash Executive Committee and an expert on chemical and biological weapons.…

British Pugwash at ‘Capturing Technology. Rethinking Arms Control’ in Germany

On 15th March 2019, a conference was held at the German Federal Foreign Office titled ‘Capturing Technology. Rethinking Arms Control’.

The aim of the Conference was to promote a well-informed international dialogue on the nature and implications of the current technological trends and to discuss whether new solutions are needed to ensure that the global arms control architecture can effectively capture new technologies.

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Pugwash delegation in Moscow to discuss arms control

From 27-29 January, a Pugwash delegation comprising the Secretary General, Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Chair of British Pugwash Group, Peter Jenkins, and Pugwash Council Members Götz Neuneck, Alexander Nikitin, and Alexander Dynkin had a series of meetings in Moscow to discuss the future of arms control as part of a new Pugwash project.…