Joint Conference of the Luxembourg Forum, Russian Academy of Sciences and IMEMO RAS “Moral responsibility of a scientist”. February 25, 2021

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International Luxembourg Forum, Russian Academy of Sciences, and IMEMO Hold Joint International Online Conference ‘Moral Responsibility of a Scientist’ Devoted to the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Academician Sakharov

The International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) held a joint international online conference entitled The Moral Responsibility of a Scientist. The conference marked the 100th birth anniversary of academician Andrei Sakharov.

The conference was attended by contemporaries of the great scientist, thinkers, leading international experts, and scientists dealing with the problems of nuclear security and the reduction, limitation, and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The Luxembourg Forum’s experts and guests discussed the importance of preserving Sakharov’s legacy in today’s world and his contribution to the fight for peace and an arms control system.

As President of the Luxembourg Forum Dr. Viatcheslav Kantor articulated, Sakharov, by virtue of his upbringing and genius, epitomized the highest standards of moral responsibility, not only for the destiny of his own country, but for the fate of humanity as a whole. He manifested this by calling for a reduction in the threat of humanity’s destruction through nuclear catastrophe, an end to the wars and armed conflicts involving his country, and for strict observance of every person’s rights. In this regard, he represents an ideal for every scientist to aspire to.

Kantor expressed concern about the possibility of countries with radical and unstable regimes gaining nuclear weapons, which would increase the threat of the actual use of nuclear weapons, as well as about the reduction of international arms control treaties and the fact that leading countries do not consider nuclear security a priority.

“In this environment, scientists need to use all available means to prevent radical regimes from obtaining nuclear weapons. Otherwise, the prospect of a nuclear holocaust appears to be quite real.

At the Luxembourg Forum, we submit specific proposals to the United Nations Security Council and the heads of leading states on urgent decisions and actions to reduce the nuclear threat. While we are thanked for those proposals, actions remain at an insufficient level,” the Luxembourg Forum President stressed.

“Sakharov gave all of us an unprecedented example of steadfastness and fearlessness in the struggle for a set of principles that were significantly different from those proclaimed by the state. And now that the governments of a number of countries are not making it a priority to prevent a nuclear apocalypse, scientists need to overcome the prevailing perception in the strongest possible way and once again confirm the special nature of the threat, which is the fact that it can make any other threat, from pandemic to economic crisis, irrelevant in the blink of an eye,” Kantor said.

Conference participants also expressed their views regarding key international security issues and strengthening strategic stability, including nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, the collapse of key international treaties, and the lack of stability around the JCPOA and Iran’s nuclear program.

The online conference was attended by President of the Luxembourg Forum Dr. Viatcheslav Kantor; President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Institute of Applied Physics, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev; Professor at Stanford University, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense William Perry; Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vladimir Lukin; Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Roald Sagdeev; Senior Research Physicist, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Ph.D. Frank N. von Hippel; Special Representative of the Russian President on International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy; author of the first hydrogen bomb design, Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Richard Garwin; Director of the National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations Feodor Voitolovsky; Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Rose Gottemoeller; Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey William Potter; David Holloway, Ph.D. (United States); Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Rady Ilkaev; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation Mikhail Fedotov; Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Siegfried S. Hecker; Department Head at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics in Sarov, Correspondent of the Russian Academy of Sciences Viktor Selemir; Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum, Principal Researcher at the Center for International Security at IMEMO, former Director of the 4th Central Scientific Research Institute at the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense, Professor Vladimir Dvorkin; Head of the Center for International Security at IMEMO, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexey Arbatov; Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Luxembourg Forum, Head of the Military and Political Analysis Division at IMEMO, professor Sergey Oznobishchev; Former Director of Sakharov Program for Human Rights at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University Tatiana Yankelevich-Bonner; Director of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation Marina Sakharov-Liberman; Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chair of the Academic Council on High-Molecular Compounds, Deputy Chair of the Russian Academy of Sciences Expert Council Alexey Khokhlov; Professor at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Member of the Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics (Germany) Jens Reich; Deputy Research Director, Head of the Research (Theoretical) Department at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics in Sarov Alexander Chernyshev; Dean of the Department of Management in Medicine and Healthcare, Institute of Industry Management at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration Leonid Pechatnikov.