Nobel honor

THE awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a Boston-area international peace group is a reminder that individuals can make a difference in mankind's continuing efforts to bring order to the challenge posed by nuclear weapons. The group, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, did not even exist until 1980, when it was founded after a meeting in Geneva between six American and Soviet physicians eager to arrest the development of nuclear weapons and the possibility of world conflict that could accompany those weapons. The group is supported by some 145,000 physicians and health workers in more than 40 nations.

Dr. Bernard Lown, the American cofounder of the group, who last week met with his Soviet counterpart and cofounder of the group, Dr. Yevgeny Chazov, contends that the world requires a new way of perceiving international politics ``that is neither left wing nor right wing, East or West. . . . We need a politics of human survival.''

One need not agree with the organization's entire agenda, such as a halt to all nuclear tests, to agree with Dr. Lown's plea for a new world politics and to appreciate its example of dialogue across the superpower divide.

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