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Student Pugwash USA

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About SPUSA: Mission and History

The mission of Student Pugwash USA is to promote social responsibility in science and technology.

We prepare science, technology and policy students to make social responsibility a guiding focus of their academic and professional endeavors by:

  • Examining the societal impacts of science and technology;
  • Creating open and objective forums for debate;
  • Fostering the exchange of ideas among diverse communities;
  • Exploring solutions to current dilemmas in science and technology; and
  • Cultivating the analytical skills needed to address future challenges.

SPUSA is guided by a respect for diverse perspectives and, as such, does not adopt advocacy positions on substantive issues. In order to create effective change, students first must understand the issues at stake, become trained in social activism, and contemplate their ethical and moral responsibility to themselves, and to society as a whole.

A student founded SPUSA in 1979 with the fundamental belief that young people play a vital role in determining the socially responsible application of science and technology. In 1955 Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and other eminent scientists issued a manifesto urging scientists to "think in a new way" about their moral responsibilities in the nuclear age. In 1957, the first Pugwash Conference was held in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, bringing together some of the greatest scientific minds to address nuclear weapons issues and the social responsibility of scientists. SPUSA strives to convene the next generation of scientists around today's parallel issues.

SPUSA is the US student affiliate of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, recipients of the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize.