Paul Smoker's death on January 7, 1998 at Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia, Ohio was a tragedy for his relatives and his many friends within the international peace research community. With his death, peace research lost a major pioneer and trend setter in the field. He epitomised the very best in peace research. He not only analysed problems scientifically, he sought to respond to and solve them in his own personal life and politics. He was an excellent example of the reflective scholar/activist and a key figure in the development of British and American peace studies.
At his death, he was Lloyd Professor of peace studies and world law at Ohio's Antioch College. Paul's education and lifelong commitment to Peace Studies began when bombs were being dropped on London during the blitz of World War II, and a doodlebug bomb narrowly missed him and his father. He was a star cadet in his secondary school until he decided to focus on peace instead of war. Paul studied Mathematics and Physics at the University of London from 1957-60, then left to work on the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and helped set up the Peace Research Centre in Lancaster, England, with his first wife, Vivienne, from 1960-62. This Centre eventually became the Richardson Institute for Peace Studies and part of Lancaster University, where Paul subsequently became a Reader in Peace Studies. He chaired the Lancaster Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament for many years and organized countless marches, protests and actions against nuclear weapons. Paul also participated in or organized summer peace institutues or gatherings on Grindstone Island in Canada, in Lancaster, England, and at Antioch College.
Paul received a Teacher's Degree from Manchester University in Mathematics, Education, and Art in 1964; and M.Phil and Ph.D. Degrees from Lancaster University, writing, respectively, on "A Mathematical Model of the Nuclear Arms Race," and on "Human-Computer Simulation of International Relations." His work includes more than 75 academic articles in publications such as General Systems Yearbook, The Journal of Peace Research, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Research Reviews, The Bulletin of Peace Proposals, and Encyclopedia of the Future. His co-authored books include: Experimentation and Simulation in Political Science, Collected Papers of Lewis Fry Richardson, Inadvertent Nuclear War, and A Reader in Peace Studies. Paul was currently researching the evolution of holistic peace theory and the use of modern computer technology in global and interdisciplinary studies. In this recent work, he focused on holistic, integrative approaches to peace that linked different dimensions of both outer and inner peace.
He was a founding member of the British Conflict Research Society (CRS), the European Peace Research Association (EUPRA), and the International Peace Research Association (IPRA). He was Editor of IPRA's quarterly International Peace Research Newsletter from 1989-1991, and was Secretary General of IPRA from 1991-1995.
Paul had a long and distinguished teaching and research career, spanning three continents. In addition to his work at Antioch and at Lancaster, he has also been a professor and/or researcher in America at the University of Colorado, Northwestern University, and Michigan State University and the University of British Columbia in Canada; in England he taught at Lancaster University, Liverpool University, and the Open University; in Europe he taught at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo University, Norway, Zagreb University in the former Yugoslavia, and the European Peace University in Stadt Schlaining, Austria; and in Japan at the Ritsumeikan University and Kyoto Seika University, both in Kyoto.
Beyond being a committed peace researcher and teacher, Paul was a renaissance man who painted, wrote poetry, played a piano in pubs, loved gardening and was a beekeeper. He was an accomplished rock climber before he had children and a loving parent afterwards. In the 1970s and 1980s, Paul lived on a small organic farmstead in England, in a rambling house, where he, his first wife Vivienne, and their children enjoyed the outdoor life and practiced self-sufficiency. Here too Paul was a teacher, passing on his knowledge of organic farming to many others through WWOOF (Weekend Workers on Organic Farms). He had a good English sense of humor and enjoyed making puns, some of which were better than others!! He played a guitar and sang, not always tunefully!! He also loved to make home-brewed beer. In dress, Paul favoured ponchos, clogs and colourful, patterned sweaters-knitted, following Gandhi, from homespun yarn. He would knit in university seminars, occasionally plucking straw picked up during a morning's milking from his clothing.
In 1976, Lancaster's peace and conflict research department was externally reviewed. The conclusion was that the programme was one of the main avenues through which the politics department and university were known in North America. It also revealed that Paul had one of the highest personal publication records.
Paul married his second wife, Linda Groff, in 1994 and they collaborated on a series of papers and books. Their focus was influenced by the Gaia hypothesis of James Lovelock and holistic approaches towards peace.
Paul was an excellent and integrated human being. He had a most infectious sense of humour and took great delight in all the people he met, taught, worked and campaigned with. We have lost a wonderful scholar, a wonderful friend and a wonderful child of the universe.
For those who want to honour his memory, IPRA has developed the Paul Smoker Memorial Peace Fund. Please send donations in Paul's honor for the Paul Smoker Memorial Peace Fund. The resources from this fund will carry on Paul's lifetime work in Peace Studies--focusing on his more recent work on holistic, integrative approaches to peace. Make out checks to the IPRA (International Peace Research Association) Foundation, note it is for the Paul Smoker Memorial Peace Fund, and mail checks to: Rachel McCaleb, Accountant IPRA Foundation, 9226 Galway Road, Boulder, Colorado 80304, USA.
People in Peace Studies from Antioch College and Lancaster University (where Paul taught), as well as members of IPRA and the international peace community will be able to apply with relevant projects for whatever funds are available each year.
Finally, you might wish to check out the Paul Smoker Memorial Web Page. This
is a fitting tribute to Paul, who helped so many students to develop web pages
in his courses. Please send comments on what Paul meant to you to add to this
web page, which will be located at: http://www.csudh.edu/global_options/paulmemorial/