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Conferenze Amaldi - Nota storica

Historical note

In 1980 the United States National Academy of Sciences established a Committee on International Security and Armament Control (CISAC) with W.K.H. Panofsky as Chairman. One of its main purposes was to maintain bilateral contacts with an analogous group at the Soviet Academy of Science. 
In January 1986 CISAC organized in Washington, D.C. a meeting and about ten scientists from European countries participated. In this meeting questions connected to arms control were discussed, together with the possibility of establishing in Europe a group of scientists with a role analogous to that of CISAC. Discussions on  nternational security and armament control were extended beyond the limitation of a direct link between the USA and the USSR.

Francesco Calogero and Carlo Schaerf took part in this meeting and then reported to Edoardo Amaldi , then Vice President of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. He was very much in favour of this initiative and set up a Working Group on International Security and Arms Control (SICA).

The first informal meeting was held in Rome at the Academy on 23-25 June 1988, and was entitled Workshop on International Security and Disarmament: The Role of the Scientific Academies. Participants from Belgium, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Sweden and USA were present at this meeting. On that occasion it was decided to hold an international conference the following year and to invite participants from other European countries, including the Soviet Union.

The second meeting was entitled International Security and Disarmament: the Role of the Scientific Academies and was held in Rome in June 1989.

The third conference, entitled International Conference on Security in Europe and the Transition away from Confrontation towards Cooperation was held again in Rome in June 1990. The title, the programme, the specific items had already been established by Edoardo Amaldi (who was President of the Academy at the time) and the SICA group when he died  unexpectedly on 5 December 1989. Prof. Giorgio Salvini was elected to succeed him as President of the Academy and of the SICA group as well and it was decided to carry on his work. This meeting was devoted to problems of peace, environmental cooperation, and measures of effective disarmament in the new international climate. It was at this meeting that the participants decided to dedicate all future meetings to the memory of Edoardo Amaldi and hence the name Amaldi Conferences. From then on the Amaldi Conferences continued on a yearly basis.