Home > Disarmament > Reducing the Dangers of Nuclear War: Practical results from the #MITNukes conference | Future of Life Institute

Reducing the Dangers of Nuclear War: Practical results from the #MITNukes conference | Future of Life Institute

Spring Conference at MIT, Saturday, April 2, 2016

Even though we have way more nuclear weapons than necessary to deter an enemy attack, we’re planning to spend 4 million dollars every hour for the next 30 years to upgrade our nuclear arsenal, which arguably makes us less safe by increasing the risk of accidental nuclear war. Please join a who’s who of researchers and thought-leaders to get the latest scoop and brainstorm with us about how to put this money to better use. MIT is a perfect place for this thanks to the long legacy of nuclear disarmament work by MIT faculty including Vicki Weisskopf, Philip Morrison, Herman Feshbach, Randall Forsberg, Bernard Feld, Henry Kendall, Kosta Tsipis, Aron Bernstein, Jonathan King and George Rathjens.


9:00 AM – Registration

(video – introductory remarks from the following three speakers.)

9:15 AM – Welcome from City of Cambridge: Mayor Denise Simmons

9:25 AM – Welcome from MIT: Vice-President Maria Zuber (MIT)

9:35 AM – (pdf) Program for the Day: Prof. Jonathan King (MIT, Peace Action)

9:45 AM – I. Direct Effects of Nuclear Weapons Deployment and Use

– (video) Consequences of a Megaton Explosion over Boston – Dr. Ira Helfand, (Physicians for Social Responsibility).

– (video, pdf) Climate Consequences of Nuclear War: Prof. Alan Robock, (Environmental Science, Rutgers U).

– (video, pdf) Nuclear Weapons Undermine Democracy: Prof. Elaine Scarry, (Harvard University).

10:45 AM – II. Destabilizing Factors

Chair: Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT)

– (video, pdf) Dangers of Hair Trigger Alert: Lisbeth Gronlund (Union of Concerned Scientists).

– (video, pdf) International Tensions and Risks of further Nuclear Proliferation – Joseph Gerson (AFSC).

– (video, pdf) Nuclear Modernization Reduces Our Security – Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable World).

– (video, pdf) Accidents and Unexpected Events – Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute).

Noon – Pick up lunches and proceed to workshops.

12:30 PM – III. Practical Workshops

a) Intro to Nuclear Weapons – Fission and Fusion Weapons; Cold War Escalation; Proliferation and Non-Proliferation (Rm 34-304; elevator to 3rd floor) – Chair: Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT), Dr. Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT), Shelagh Foreman (Mass Peace Action); David Rothauser (Playwright).
b) Engaging students and their teachers in nuclear disarmament initiatives – Chair: Caitlin Forbes (Peace Action); Abel Corver (Harvard Peace Action), Gary Goldstein (Tufts U), Lucas Perry (BC, Future of Life).

c) Strengthening the connection between efforts to avert climate change and efforts to avert nuclear war – Guntram Mueller (Peace Action); Geoffrey Supran (MIT Climate Action); Prof. Alan Robock (Rutgers U), Sue Donaldson (350MA).

d) No to the Trillion Dollar Nuclear Weapons Triad Modernization – Chair: Elaine Scarry (Harvard Univ.); Erica Fein (WAND/WILL); Joe Cirincione (Ploughshares Fund); Cole Harrison (Mass Peace Action).

e) Reducing international tensions through treaties and negotiation – Chair: Prof. Nazli Choucri (MIT), David Wright (UCS), Sonja Amadae (Univ. of Helsinki).

f) People’s budget campaign to cut the nuclear weapons spending – Paul Shannon (AFSC); John Ratliff (Mass Senior Action); Jay Livingstone (Mass State Representative).

g) Building the de-alerting campaign – Mary Popeo (Global Zero); Lisbeth Gronlund (UCS).

1:45 PM Workshops Adjourn

2:00 PM – IV. Mobilizing to Reduce the Dangers

Chair: Cole Harrison (Mass Peace Action):

– (video, pdf) Social and Economic Costs of Nuclear Weapons : Prof. Jonathan King, (MIT and Peace Action).

– (video, pdf) Divesting from Nuclear Weapons Investments: Susi Snyder (Don’t Bank on the Bomb).

– (video) Cambridge Nuclear Weapons Disinvestment Policy: Mayor Denise Simmons.

3:00 PM – V. Current Prospects

Chair: Max Tegmark (MIT and the Future of Life Institute)
– (video) The Necessity of Nuclear Disarmament – William Perry (Former Secretary of Defense).

– (video) Stopping the $Trillion Nuclear Triad Upgrade – Joe Cirincione (Ploughshares Fund).

4:00 PM – VI. Closing Panel

(Video) Moderated by Max Tegmark (MIT): Joe Cirincione (Ploughshares Fund), Charles Ferguson (FAS), Gary Goldstein (Tufts), Mary Pompeo (Global Zero), William Perry, Susi Snyder (Don’t Bank on the Bomb), Max Tegmark (MIT), and Frank Wilczek (MIT)

5:00 PM – Adjourn

Read much more here: Reducing the Dangers of Nuclear War – FLI – Future of Life Institute

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