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."