2016 MIT: Reducing the Dangers of Nuclear War


Spring Conference at MIT, Saturday, April 2, 2016 (v.3-17-16)

 “Reducing the Dangers of Nuclear War”

Responding to the continuing risk of nuclear war or accident, this conference is intended to launch an annual spring event focused on reducing the risks of nuclear war. It is not an academic conference, but rather one that addresses the political and economic realities, and attempts to stimulate and inform the kind of social movement needed to change national policy. Locating it at MIT builds on the long tradition of support for nuclear disarmament by MIT faculty including Vicki Weisskopf, Philip Morrison, Herman Feshbach, Randall Forsberg, Bernard Feld, Henry Kendall, Vera Kistiakowsky, Kosta Tsipis, Aron Bernstein and George Rathjens.

8:45 am. Registration and Coffee.                            

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. Program for the Day: Prof. Jonathan King (MIT, Peace Action)

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

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

      - Climatic Consequences of Nuclear War - Prof. Alan Robock, (Environmental Science, Rutgers U).

       - Nuclear Weapons and Democracy - Prof. Elaine Scarry, (Harvard University).

10:45 am. II. Destabilizing Factors:

Chair: Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT)

                  - Dangers of Hair Trigger Alert - Lisbeth Gronlund (Union of Concerned Scientists).

                  - International Tensions and Risks of further Nuclear Proliferation – Joseph Gerson (AFSC).

                  - Nuclear Modernization and National Security – Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable World).

-                 - Accidents and Unexpected events – Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute).

12:00 pm. Lunch Workshops (Pick-up bag lunches, proceed to your workshop):

a) Engaging Students and Educators in Nuclear Disarmament Initiatives - Chair: Caitlin Forbes (Peace Action); Abel Corver (Harvard Peace Action), Prof. Gary Goldstein (Tufts U), Lucas Perry  (Boston College, Future of Life Institute).

b) Strengthening the Connection between Efforts to Avert Long Term Climate Change and Efforts to Avert Nuclear War – Chair, Prof. Guntram Mueller (Peace Action); Representative (Fossil Free MIT); Prof. Alan Robock (Rutgers U), Sue Donaldson (350MA).

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

d) Reducing International Tensions through Treaties and Negotiation – Chair, Prof. Nazli Choucri (MIT), David Wright (UCS), Sonja Amadae (Univ. of Helsinki); Joseph Gerson (AFSC).

e) People’s Budget Campaign: First Step to Cutting Nuclear Weapons Spending – Chair, Paul Shannon (AFSC); John Ratliff (Mass Senior Action); Mike Connolly (Cambridge Residents Alliance).

f) Building the De-alerting Campaign - Mary Popeo (Global Zero); Lizbeth Gronlund (UCS); Dr. Ira Helfand (PSR),

2:00 pm.  Session IV. Mobilizing to Reduce the Dangers:

Chair: Cole Harrison (Mass Peace Action):

                  - Social and Economic Costs of Nuclear Weapons Upgrades: Prof. Jonathan King, (MIT and Peace Action).

                  - Divesting from Nuclear Weapons Investments: Susi Snyder (Don’t Bank on the Bomb).

                  - Letter to President Obama Campaign: Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons.

2:45 pm. Session V. Current Prospects for Progress:

-  The Necessity of Nuclear Disarmament – William Perry (Former Secretary of Defense).

-  Stopping the $Trillion Nuclear Triad upgrade –Joe Cirincione (Ploughshares Fund).

4:30 pm. Closing Panel: The Role of Physicists in promoting Nuclear Disarmament – with Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT); Prof. Gary Goldstein (Tufts Univ.), Charles Ferguson (Federation of American Scientists) and Prof. Frank Wilczek (MIT).

5:00 pm. Adjourn.

Program Committee:  Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable World), Abel Corver (Harvard University), Joseph Gerson (AFSC), Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT), Prof. Gary Goldstein (Tufts University), Cole Harrison (Mass Peace Action), Jonathan King (MIT and Mass Peace Action), Guntram Mueller (Mass Peace Action), Mary Popeo (Global Zero), John Ratliff (Mass Peace Action, Mass Senior Action), Mareena Robinson (Global Zero), Prof. Elaine Scarry (Harvard University), Prof.Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Insitute), Patricia Weinmann (MIT Radius) .

Sponsored by MIT Radius (the former Technology and Culture Forum), Massachusetts Peace Action, MIT Global Zero, Future of Life Institute, and the American Friends Service Committee.