During World War I, Russell was one of the few people to engage in active pacifist activities and in 1916, he was dismissed from Trinity College following his conviction under the Defence of the Realm Act 1914 .  Russell played a significant part in the Leeds Convention in June 1917, a historic event which saw well over a thousand "anti-war socialists" gather; many being delegates from the Independent Labour Party and the Socialist Party, united in their pacifist beliefs and advocating a peace settlement.  The international press reported that Russell appeared with a number of Labour MPs , including Ramsay MacDonald and Philip Snowden , as well as former Liberal MP and anti-conscription campaigner, Professor Arnold Lupton . After the event, Russell told Lady Ottoline Morrell that, "to my surprise, when I got up to speak, I was given the greatest ovation that was possible to give anybody".  
The BRS awards annual student paper prizes for the best new papers about Russell by undergraduate and graduate students. Prize-winners will present their papers at the Society’s next Annual Meeting, receive $200, free registration, lodging and banquet at the Annual Meeting, and a complimentary first-year membership in The Bertrand Russell Society. Papers can be on any aspect of Russell’s life, work, or influence. They must be suitable for presentation to a general audience, and 20 to 30 minutes in length (10 to 12 double-spaced pages of text).