In 1985, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in alerting the worldwide public to the harmful effects of nuclear warfare.
According to its website, the IPPNW's three highest priorities are:
Although the IPPNW's original focus was on the prevention of nuclear wear, its role has expanded to lobby against any form of warfare in recent years. In particular, it has focused its educational campaigns on the negative effects of militarism (a government's emphasis on military power) in underdeveloped nations. Today the IPPNW maintains offices in London, England and Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has 200,000 members in 81 countries. Representatives from local chapters convene every two years at an international conference, and frequent regional meetings are also held.
Founders: Bernard Lown and Yevgeny Chazov
Date of Founding: 1980
Place of Founding: Geneva, Switzerland
Location of Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England
In 1961, Dr. Bernard Lown, a heart specialist at Harvard University's School of Public Health, heard a speech by Philip Noel-Baker, a British ambassador and great exponent of disarmament. Noel-Baker warned against the medical effects of nuclear war, especially long-term radiological damage. Inspired by the speech, Dr. Lown joined with several other U.S. doctors to form the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). For almost two decades, PSR made public the horrible effects of nuclear explosions in an effort to end the international arms race.
In 1979, Dr. Lown teamed up with Yevgeny Chavoz, a friend and heart specialist, and four other doctors (two Russians and two Americans) to form the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). The IPPNW quickly swelled in ranks as doctors joined and by the mid-1980's had 135,000 members in 41 nations.
From the beginning, the IPPNW made education a major focus and worked hard to inform the public about the dangers of nuclear war. In 1982, the IPPNW broadcast a discussion by American and Russian physicians on the danger of nuclear war throughout the U.S. and Europe.
To learn more about the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, visit their website here.