Bertrand Russell Society Calls for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Supports Lawsuit

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The Society recently honored noted philosopher Michael Ruse and continues in the tradition of its namesake, the Nobel Prize winning philosopher, logician, and activist Bertrand Russell, who advocated the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Nobel Prize Winner and Philosopher Bertrand Russell

"Remember your humanity and forget the rest."

The Bertrand Russell Society held its 41st annual conference at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario on June 13-15, 2014. Dozens of academics, students, and Russell admirers from five countries and eight US states attended the conference, which featured presentations on various aspects of Russell’s diverse interests and works, including his work in logic and philosophy, and his political writing and activism. Bertrand Russell was one of the twentieth century’s most important and influential philosophers and public intellectuals. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, and he was a founder and early leader of the nuclear disarmament movement.

The society voted by a large majority to support the recent lawsuit brought before the World Court by the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which charges the world’s nine nuclear weapons nations with violation of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The treaty legally binds the nuclear member states to bargain in good faith for the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. According to the society’s vice president, Raymond Perkins, Jr., “Negotiated nuclear disarmament is something Russell would certainly support, just as he and Einstein did as early as 1955 in the Russell-Einstein Manifesto.”

Michael Ruse gave the keynote address entitled, “I Once Saw Bertrand Russell: My Readings and Reflections on Russell over 60 Years,” which included comments about his own experiences during the turbulent 1960s. Ruse, who is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University, was presented with the Society’s 2014 Bertrand Russell Society Award for his work in philosophy and his promotion of science and reason, which the Society’s president, Alan Schwerin, said were “values long exemplified by Russell himself.”

More information about the Bertrand Russell Society can be obtained by visiting its website at


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michael berumen