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104 Jewish Scientists to Attend Geneva Parley on Atomic Energy

August 2, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Out of about 600 scientists from all over the world who will gather at Geneva August 8 for the two-week International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, a total of 104 are Jews.

This fact, rather astounding to many diplomats here because of the disproportion between total Jewish population on the one hand and Jewish eminence in science on the other, emerged today as most of the UN top echelon members of the secretariat departed for Geneva.

The conference in Geneva, while strictly scientific and just as strictly non-political, was convened at the behest of a General Assembly resolution adopted here last December. Officially in charge of the conference is the Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold.

From the very beginning of the planning of the conference, Jewish participation loomed large. The General Assembly had voted that Mr. Hammarskjold select seven member nations to name representatives on an advisory committee. Of the seven, two were famous Jewish scientists–Dr. 1.I. Rabi of Columbia University, representing the United States; and Dr. Bertrand Goldschmidt, of Paris, representing France.


As the conference opens in Geneva next week, the United States will have the largest delegation–a total of 324 outstanding men, most of them scientists. The American delegation is headed by a team of five; among these five, two are Jews–Rear Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, and Dr. Rabi. Judged by names, appearances, personal actions, and other such criteria–since a scientists’s religion is not inscribed on his formal record for this conference–a total of 62 of the Americans in Geneva are Jews.

The next largest Jewish group seems to appear in the Soviet delegation, of whom 12 are believed to be Jews. In addition, two other iron curtain countries–Poland and Ukrainia–appear to have one Jew each in their delegations.

Surprising to some diplomats here–although not to those who have kept abreast of atomic science developments–is the size of the Israel delegation. Israel will have ten scientists at Geneva. They are: I. Dostrovsky of the Weismann Institute of Science at Rehovoth; Y. Lehrer, of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission at Tel Aviv; B. Shapiro and G. Rose, of the Department of Biochemistry of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School at Jerusalem; I. Lipkin, R. Thieberger, S. Amiel, L. Winsberg, I, Stern, and I. Feiga.

Israel also will have three of its six scientific papers on the agenda for on-the-spot discussion, indicating that these papers are considered to be of special importance. Over all, only about a third of the conference papers are scheduled for discussion; the rest will become part of the conference record when they are issued in printed form. It has been noted that not one of the Arab countries will be represented by scientists at Geneva.

The French delegation will include seven apparent Jews; there will be five evident Jews among the British scientists; two Jews each from Brazil and Switzerland; one from Argentina, and one from Sweden.

(In Washington, Adm. Strauss announced that technical libraries of non-classified data on nuclear energy and its applications have been shipped to 23 nations, one of which is Israel. The libraries were developed by the AEC technical information service as one of the several commission projects supporting the President’s atoms-for-peace program.)

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