Through the spring of 1961, the Paulings spent much of their time organizing, writing
invitations, arranging travel, and finding ways to pay for their Oslo peace meeting.
Pauling convinced Bertrand Russell, Albert Schweitzer, and twenty other notables to
act as sponsors for what he was calling the "Conference to Study the Problem of the
Possible Spread of Nuclear Weapons to More Nations or Groups of Nations." Everyone
called it the Oslo Conference. The gathering drew sixty scientists from fifteen nations,
including four from the USSR. Everything went smoothly, and the result, the "Oslo
Statement," called for an end to the spread of nuclear weaponry, a complete test ban,
and the study of ways to transition from military to nonmilitary economies. A public
reading of the statement drew some five hundred people to Oslo’s great Aula meeting
hall. "Everything has gone along almost perfectly," Pauling enthused when it was over.
"The Aula meeting was grand." The event was capped with a torchlight parade through
the streets of Oslo.
Click images to enlarge
Group portrait of participants at the Oslo Conference. 1961.
List of Oslo Conference participants. April 10, 1961.
"The real success of the conference was the uninhibited exchange of views. Participants
left the conference with a greater understanding of the points of agreement and division.
I was impressed by the evidence of goodwill, and by the determination of all who attended
the conference -- particularly those from the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. -- to reach agreement."