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.

The conference was reviewed by Nottingham’s Professor Philip Moriarty (here) in a blog post titled ‘Some down-to-earth, blue sky thinking’.

Ethical science?

Wed 23rd October, UoN

1 – 1.55pm: Early days of Pugwash – Concerned Cold War scientists

Speakers: Ambassador Peter Jenkins (Chair of British Pugwash) on global nuclear politics; Emeritus Professor John Finney, Physics, UCL, on our founder Sir Jo Rotblat and the foundational ideas of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.

John’s PPT slides can be found here

2 – 3.15pm: Workshop 1: Ethics of energy production – Nuclear & Green New Deal

Dr Ian Crossland (Independent Consultant at IAEA) on the pros and cons of nuclear power; Sam Harris, Labour Party activist, on the ‘Green New Deal’

Dr Crossland’s presentation (video) can be found here

3.15 – 3.45pm: Refreshments

3.45 – 4.55pm: Workshop 2: Technologies of war and peace 

Laura Nolan (International Committee on Robot Arms Control, formerly Google) on ‘Killer Robots’; Anuradha Damale (Verification Research, Training and Information Centre) on nuclear weapons verification programmes

Laura Nolan’s presentation (video) can be found here

5.00pm – 6pm: Closing discussion – The Lucas Plan – Arms to Renewables?

Tony Simpson (Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation) on the experiences of the Lucas Aerospace Combine Shop Stewards Committee and Mike Cooley’s ideas of ‘Socially Useful Production’

Tony showed the trailer of a new film about the Lucas Plan, which can be found online here

Collected multimedia:

  • Prof Finney on Pugwash history and Jo Rotblat’s life and goals – Slides – here
  • Dr Crossland on the pros and cons of nuclear power – Video – here
  • Laura Nolan on autonomous weapons (‘Killer Robots’) – Video – here
  • Prof Moriarty’s summary of the conference – Blog – here
  • A trailer of The Plan (new film about the Lucas Plan) – Video here


C27 Lecture Theatre, Physics, University Park campus (University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD)


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