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29.11.2011: INES 20th Anniversary

29.11. 2011: INES 20th Anniversary

The International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) was founded on November 29th, 1991 in Berlin at the international congress “Challenges - Science and Peace in a Rapidly Changing Environment“.


The congress took place at a time when the enthusiasm about the change in Eastern Europe already had given way to anxiety about the enormous task of rebuilding whole political, economic and security structures. On a global scale even bigger chalenges are apparent. Humankind has entered a phase in which global developments are in conflict with basic requirements for human survival. The remaining stocks of weapons for mass destruction, the overuse of common resources, population growth, and a heavily unbalanced world economy endanger the survival of many people or even humankind in general. The arms race, hunger, poverty and environmental destruction are reasons for growing conflicts and wars throughout the world.
The documentation of the 1991 Challenges-Congress is available here: www.bdwi.de/verlag/gesamtkatalog/107289.html

Messages from INES members

We are collecting contributions for the 20th INES Anniversary page and welcome current and former INES members to publish their memories and future prospects on INES here. 


I became a founding member of INES in a somewhat circuitous way.

By David Krieger, Chair of the INES Executive Committee, USA

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, which was founded in 1982, became a participating organization in the first International Peace Week of Scientists (IPWOS) in 1986. This Peace Week was organized by Hendrik Bramhoff, a German mathematician who was then a graduate student. In the following year, at Bramhoff’s request, NAPF helped to coordinate the Peace Week, encouraging more scientists to participate. Read on


20 years of INES - take stock, take on challenges, develop ideas for the future

By Reiner Braun, INES Program Director, Germany

I was personally involved in the founding process of INES by preparing the Challenges Congress and then the Founding Meeting. I acted as INES' Executive Secretary first and later as Program Director. I have been actively involved over almost the whole years of INES' work. I would like to open a debate on the future of INES. I believe its 20th birthday is a good occasion for reflection. Read on


INES has been a bright beacon shining light on the issue of scientific responsibility

By Harold Kroto, INES Advisory Council, USA/UK

INES has been a bright beacon shining light on the issue of scientific responsibility and I think that in this age of globalisation it is time to examine its strategy for the future. INES must take a lead in finding a way to work synergistically with the various other organisations throughout the world such as the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Pugwash etc with similar aims. The issues at stake are now so terrible to contemplate that someone has to take the lead in cementing all these various organisations into one which has the numerical and intellectual critical mass to influence politicians more effectively than in the past. Organisations such as INES can no longer go it alone, the future of the human race depends on communal efforts. Read on


Three conferences and a vision got me into INES

By Hartwig Spitzer, INES Founding member and member of the INES Advisory Council, Germany

In October 1985 I received an express letter from Reiner Braun and Prof. Starlinger, one of the initiators of the West German Scientists Peace Initiative. They asked me to join the organizing committee of a big international scientist’s peace congress, which they wanted to be held in my home town of Hamburg. The congress “Ways out of the arms race” became a big success, attracting 3000 participants, with significant participation from Western Europe, the Soviet Union, the United States and beyond. It embodied the concern and engagement of a then informal network of scientists working for ending the East West arms race. It led eventually to two subsequent major conferences, one in London (1988) and one in Berlin (Challenges, 1991). In preparation of the Berlin Conference the momentum increased towards the foundation of a more formal international network. Due to an initiative from Hungary forces were joined with some organisations of concerned engineers. Read on.


We must support INES so that it can be at the forefront of campaigns for science and technology to play their part in bringing about a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

By Stuart Parkinson, INES member, Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), UK

INES was formed at a time of tremendous change in global affairs. Most striking, of course, were the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Also global environmental threats were starting to be accepted at an international level with the publication of the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and preparations being made for the Earth Summit in Brazil in 1992 at which a series of landmark treaties were to be agreed. Read on.

The “pre-natal” life of INES

By Dénes Berényi, INES founding member, Hungary

In 1988 four Hungarian colleagues (D. Berényi, G.J. Köteles, G. Osztrovszki, Cs.Részegh) obtained the Prize of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation for a treatise and action plan. In this they suggested to establish a world movement for engineers and scientists who are engaged in the case of peace. At the same time the Foundation „Engineers for Peace” was established in Hungary. Read on

We are looking forward with great expectations to the next 20 years of INES!

By G. J. Köteles and M. Barabás, INES members, Hungary

In addition to the word of Dénes Berényi we would like to point out that great moral help was providedby the Hungarian Peace Council represented by Mr. M. Barabás, secretary general. The challenges have motivated us to come together and exchange ideas, to respond. The outcome was hoped as turning the attention of the engineers and scientists as well as of the society to the most serious problems of world peace, eradication of nuclear weapons, the urgent need of the protection of environment, the many other problems of world economy and population, energy need, food and drinking water supply, public hygiene. All of these to be made evident by the scientists and engineers. Read on


Middle: Fernando de Souza-Barros

INES should renew its representation in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

By Fernando de Souza-Barros, INES member, Brazil

INES paid special attention to the worldwide approach required by its charter. This implied attracting scientists and technologists from developing countries, in particular those that have reached the so-called “nuclear threshold” stage mastering nuclear and/or missile technologies. Some of these countries –Argentina, Brazil and South Africa -- have discarded their military projects, but unforeseeable future developments -- economic, social or political -- could induce their return. Read on


My start with INES, personal background, and some considerations how our network fits into the web of innumerable NGO.

By Gert Harigel, INES Founding member, Switzerland

Born as the second son out of three into a (upper?) middle class family - having suffered through World War I, the Great Depression - at the demise of the fledgling Weimar Republic, just prior to the dramatic change of the political landscape in Germany, to experience the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, suppression of human rights, free speech, start of militarism. Of course at this moment I couldn’t yet have been aware of or anticipate the severe consequences for my family’s future and me, but felt it first with the outbreak of World War II, just when I had finished Elementary School and entered High School at the age of 10. Read on



The relationship between INES members should be strong

By Jambu Kumar and Suman Jain, INES members, Rural Development and Youth Training Institute, India

We are very grateful to INES that we were invited to participate in two INES council meeting in Finland and Germany in 2006 and 2007 and had the opportunity to exchange our peace, ethics, justice, and sustainable development field experiences in these meetings through slides presentation and oral discussions. That was a really wonderful experiences for us. As an INES member organisation and small NGO we are engaged in rural and remote areas in Kota – India for peace and justice work for rural youths , women and children groups. We really hope that INES will be able to collect funds from foundations or well wishers so small NGOs like us can be invited to meetings and conferences again to exchange experiences. The relationship between INES members should be strong and if any INES member has plans to visit India, please take into consideration to learn about our work and contact us.


The biggest enjoyment I got from my relation with INES was that feeling of belonging to humanity.

By Hamed El Mously, member of the INES Executive Committee, Egypt

The biggest enjoyment I got from my relation with INES was that feeling of belonging to humanity: feeling your self as a member of a big family: transcending all the borders of nationality, ethnicity and religion and the realization that we have something real in common. INES also gave me the feeling of responsibility emerging from the fact that we as humans have a common "fate", because we are sailing to future on the same boat: our beloved earth. The sincere – and sometimes hot – discussions remind me that the truth is not a property of a single nation or culture. I need you and you need me: we need each other as individuals, nations or cultures to approach the truth. This means that we need to listen to each other and learn from our differences and open a continuous and sincere dialogue: we humans’ neighbors and inhabitants of our mother earth.
Prof. Hamed El Mously represents the Egyptian Society of Endogenous Development of local communities (EGYCOM), Cairo.