Catalogue description Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of ERIC HENRY STONELEY BURHOP FRS (1911 - 1980)

This record is held by London University: University College London (UCL) Special Collections

Details of NCUACS 40/2/93
Reference: NCUACS 40/2/93
Title: Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of ERIC HENRY STONELEY BURHOP FRS (1911 - 1980)





This small collection contains interesting biographical material relating to Burhop's interest in furthering rapprochement between East and West, and documentation of the first Pugwash conference. There are no records of his scientific research or scientific correspondence.


Section A, Biographical, contains records of the 'passport case' when the Foreign Office withdrew Burhop's passport on the eve of a visit to the Soviet Union in 1951 and the award of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1972. There is also correspondence on the possible nomination of Bertrand Russell for the World Peace Council's International Peace Prize in 1957.


Section B, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, relates principally to the first conference in July 1957. The material includes documentation of the role of the World Federation of Scientific Workers in the organisation of the first conference, and manuscript notes of the proceedings.


Compiled by Peter Harper and Timothy E. Powell


The work of the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, and the production of this catalogue, are made possible by the support of the following societies and organisations:


British Petroleum plc


The Institute of Physics


The Royal Society


The Wellcome Trust

Date: 1948 - 1980
Held by: London University: University College London (UCL) Special Collections, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Burhop, Eric Henry Stoneley, 1911-1980, scientist and physicist

Physical description: 49 files
Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were received in March 1993 from Dr Brenda Swann.

Publication note:

For a full account of the life and career of Burhop see the memoir by H.S.W. Massey and D.H. Davis, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 27, 1981.

Administrative / biographical background:



Eric Henry Stoneley Burhop was born at Hobart, Tasmania in 1911. His parents were Salvation Army officers in poor financial circumstances who made considerable sacrifices to enable him to attend Ballarat and Melbourne High Schools, and enter Melbourne University as an engineering student in 1928. After one year he changed over to science, specialising in physics. In 1929 he was awarded the Aitchison Bursary which provided financial assistance for the rest of his undergraduate studies. He graduated with first class honours in physics in 1931 and then took an M.Sc. in the subject working with T.H. Laby. In 1933 an Exhibition of 1851 Overseas Scholarship took him to the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge where he carried out experimental research in nuclear physics working under Rutherford. After two years he returned to Melbourne to take up the post of Research Physicist and Lecturer in the University. During the Second World War he undertook war-related research at Melbourne and Sydney until May 1944 when he joined the British team working on the atomic energy project in the USA. He worked on isotope separation in the group led by H.S.W. Massey. In 1945 Burhop accepted a post of Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at University College, London (Reader 1949). In 1950 he transferred to the Physics Department as Reader in Physics and in 1960 became Professor of Physics by conferment of title. He researched widely in atomic and nuclear physics including the Auger effect and electronic and ionic impact phenomena. He was a founder member of the European K meson collaboration and played a leading role in the UCL Bubble Chamber group. Burhop was elected FRS in 1963.


Burhop was strongly committed to the political left and sought a rapprochement between the Soviet bloc and the West during the Cold War. To this end he was actively involved in the work of the World Federation of Scientific Workers, of which he was President for many years. Burhop played an important role with Bertrand Russell, C.F. Powell and J. Rotblat in the organisation of the first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs which met in July 1957 at Pugwash, Nova Scotia. Financed by the American industrialist Cyrus Eaton who was born at Pugwash, the conference brought together senior scientists from East and West to discuss the dangers of nuclear war, and provided the model for a series of similarly organised Pugwash conferences on this and related topics. Burhop was awarded the Joliot-Curie Medal of the World Peace Council in 1966 and the Lenin International Peace Prize in 1972.

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