Jerusalem (Sep. 8)
Premier David Ben Gurion hailed as an outstanding demonstration of the unity of the human race the International Conference on Nuclear Structure which opened in Rehovoth tonight. The Conference is attended by some 200 nuclear physicists from both sides of the Iron Curtain, including 37 from the United States.
Speaking at the opening session at the Weizman Institute of Science to some of the world’s leading nuclear physicists, the Premier asserted that the gathering was not only an important scientific and intellectual event, but an undertaking of great human and moral significance.
“The healthy survival of humanity is conceivable only on the basis of partnership and cooperation across the frontiers of states and peoples,” Mr. Ben Gurion declared. He buttressed his emphasis on the supremacy of the human spirit with the example of Israel’s survival over the centuries in the face of attempts by powerful, hostile empires to overcome the Jewish nation and uproot the spiritual beliefs which were responsible for its survival.
Referring to the powerful latent forces of the atom, the Premier underlined that the atom was the source of limitless creative energy as well as the potential to destroy mankind. “Unfortunately,” the scholar-politician said, “it is not entirely the scientists but those individuals who may ultimately decide the use that is to be made of this tremendous energy.”
Mr. Ben Gurion questioned whether government should be taken out of the hands of politicians and turned over to wise men and philosophers who are not “contaminated by the unpleasant and unsavory” nature of politicians’ work. On the other hand, he suggested, it might be better to “establish harmonious cooperation among students of nature and rulers of nations to induce statesmen to adopt two distinctive characteristics of scientific research, namely, truth and universality.”
Before bidding the scientists, in the words of Zachariah, “You shall love truth and peace,” Mr. Ben Gurion noted that in Israel, despite its small size, abundant energies had been brought into play for both the development of science and the strengthening of world peace.