Scientists for Global Responsibility [SGR] – is an independent UK-based membership organisation of about 1000 natural and social scientists, engineers, IT professionals and architects. SGR promotes science, design and technology that contribute to peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability and is affiliated to the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES)
Dr Stuart Parkinson is Executive Director of SGR. He began his career studying for a degree in physics and electronic engineering. During an industrial placement, he worked on military engineering projects, and this caused him to question the ethics of his career path. On completing his degree, he changed direction and enrolled for a PhD in mathematical modelling of global climate change at Lancaster University.
SGR submitted a response to the UK Strategic Defence and Security Review, and to the House of Commons Defence Committee inquiry into this Review, on 3 September 2010.
SGR’s main recommendations are:
Adopt a security and defence strategy that prioritises tackling the roots of conflict, with an emphasis on non-violent conflict resolution.
Prioritise the shift of UK society to a sustainable use of resources, thereby helping to reduce the drivers of conflict.
Include UK nuclear weapons in the SDSR, and abandon attempts to have any aspect of their development or deployment funded from civilian budgets.
As the first steps to complete nuclear disarmament, take the Trident nuclear submarines off patrol, put the nuclear warheads in secure storage, and cancel plans for a replacement.
Cut the total military budget by at least 25% in the short term, with further cuts to follow. In addition to nuclear weapons, the priority for cuts should be other major military technology systems with an offensive capability, such as new aircraft carriers, fighter planes and submarines.
Enact much tighter restrictions on arms exports, and close down the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation.
Cut the Ministry of Defence’s R&D budget before cutting other areas of publicly-funded R&D. This could largely be achieved through cuts to the Atomic Weapons Establishment.
It is regretted that, due to parliamentary restrictions, the full response cannot be posted until a later date.
From Small Heath: I wish Dr Stuart and his most intelligent and learned friends and colleagues VERY long and healthy lives to continue their most valuable work!!!!