Those nations armed with nuclear weapons continue to deploy many thousands of such weapons. The US arsenal includes almost 2,000 nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert. These weapons can be launched on the orders of President Trump without any input from the Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or any sector of US society. Yet the forums for citizen discussion are extremely thin and limited. Whereas in the 1970s and 1980s almost all major US campuses hosted some form of Peace or Disarmament group, one is hard pressed at present to find such groups. MIT is unusual in this respect, and the 2016 and 2017 Conferences "Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War" represent a significant return to campus engagement. The programs of the two conferences can be found on the subpages listed above.
A major activity of IPE in the coming period will be organizing a fall 2017 Conference on Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons, and the 2018 MIT Conference, in cooperation with our partners at MIT Radius, MAPA, Council for a Livable World, Union of Concerned Scientists, WAND and the Future of Life Institute. For plans to extend related Forums to other campuses please visit "Campus Forums" on the menu above.
The Program Committee for the fall Conference is chaired by Prof. Elaine Scarry; the Program Committee for the Spring 2018 Conference is chaired by Jonathan King.