Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 10:00am

Join us on Saturday, May 6 for a full day of information and inspiration. The US federal discretionary budget is $1.1 trillion. Of that budget, 54% is military spending (education: 6%; transportation: 2%; energy and the environment: 3%; housing and community: 6%). In addition, the Obama administration recently targeted over $1 trillion to upgrade our nuclear arsenal over the next 3 decades. The conference will address national priorities including education, housing, health care, transportation and more. We will also discuss the fundamental immorality of nuclear weapons and how national and global security will be at increased risk rather than less. Lastly, we will talk about stratagies for non-proliferation. Please see below for a full outline of the day and check back soon for registration information.

{Bold = Confirmed speakers; Italic = Invited}

8:45 am. Registration and Coffee.               

9:15 am. Welcome from City of Cambridge: TBD

9:30 am. Program for the Day: Prof. Jonathan King (MIT, Peace Action)

9:45 am. Session I.  The Need for Nuclear Disarmament

- Costs and Profits from Nuclear Weapons Manufacture - William Hartung (Center for International Policy)

- Reasons to Reject the Trillion Dollar Nuclear Weapons Escalation- Joseph Cirincione (Ploughshares Fund)

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

10:45 am. Session II. Destabilizing Factors:

Chair: Prof. Frank Von Hippel (Princeton University)

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

- Nuclear Modernization vs. National SecurityProf. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable World)

- Accidents and Unexpected eventsProf. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute)

- International Tensions and Risks of further Nuclear ProliferationJoseph Gerson (AFSC).

12:00 pm. Lunch Workshops (Listed below)

*2:00 pm.  Session III. Economic and social Consequences of Excessive Weapons Spending

Chair: Prof. Melissa Nobles (MIT):

-Build Housing Not Bombs; - Rev. Paul Robeson Ford (Union Baptist Church)

-Education as a National Priority - Barbara Madeloni (Mass Teachers Association)  

-Invest in Minds Not Missiles - Prof. Jonathan King (MIT, Mass Peace Action)

-Build Subways Not Submarines - Fred Salvucci (former Secretary of Transportation)

*3:00 pm. Session IV. Current Prospects for Progress:

Chair: John Tierney, (former US Representative, Council for a Livable World)

- House Steps Toward Nuclear DisarmamentU. S.  Representative Barbara Lee, U.S. Rep Ted Lieu

- Maintaining the Iran Nuclear AgreementErnie Moniz, former Secretary of Energy

*4:15 pm.  Session V. Organizing to Reduce the Dangers

Chair: Jim Andersen (Peace Action of New York State);  

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

-Taxpayers Information and Transparency ActsState Reps Denise Provost/Mike Connolly

-Mobilizing the Scientific CommunityProf. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute)

-A National Nuclear Disarmament Organizing Network 2017 -2018Program Committee.


5:00 pm. Adjourn.


a) Campus Organizing - Chair: Kate Alexander (Peace Action, NY State); Caitlin Forbes (Mass Peace Action); Remy Pontes (Brandeis University); Haleigh Copley-Cunningham (Tufts U), Lucas Perry (Don’t Bank on the Bomb, Future of Life Institute); MIT Students (Nuclear Weapons Matter).

b) Bringing nuclear weapons into physics and history course curricula - Chair: Frank Davis (past President of TERC); Prof. Gary Goldstein (Tufts University); Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT); Prof. Vincent Intondi (American University); Ray Matsumiya (Oleander/Hiroshima Peace Initiative). 

c) Dangerous Conflicts – Chair, Erica Fein (WAND); Dr. Ira Helfand (Physicians for Social Responsibility; Charles Ferguson (Federation of American Scientists).

d) Municipal and State Initiatives – Chair: Cole Harrison (Mass Peace Action); Rep. Denise Provost (Mass State Legislature); Councilor Dennis Carlone (Cambridge City Council); Rev. Bob Moore (Coalition for Peace Action NJ); Jared Hicks (Our Revolution); Prof. Ceasar McDowell (MIT Urban Studies); Nora Ranney (National Priorities Project).

e) Peace with Justice: People’s Budget and Related Campaigns to Shift Federal budget Priorities  – Chair: Andrea Miller (People Demanding Action); Rep. Mike Connolly (Mass State Legislature); Paul Shannon (AFSC); Madelyn Hoffman (NJPA); Richard Krushnic (Mass Peoples Budget Campaign); Arne Alpert (New Hampshire AFSC).

f) Reducing Nuclear Weapons through Treaties and Negotiation – Chair: Prof. Nazli Choucri (MIT), Paul Kawika Martin (National Peace Action), Shelagh Foreman (Mass Peace Action); Michel DeGraff (MIT Haiti Project).

g) Strengthening the Connection between Averting Climate Change and Averting Nuclear War – Chair: Prof. Frank Von Hippel (Princeton University); Ed Aquilar (Pennsylvania Peace Action); Geoffrey Supran (Fossil Free MIT); Rosalie Anders (Mass Peace Action).

h) Working with Communities of Faith – Chair: Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas (MIT Radius) Rev. Herb Taylor (Harvard Epworth Methodist Church); Pat Ferrone (Mass Pax Christi); Rev. Paul Robeson Ford (Union Baptist Church).

Program Committee:  Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable), 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), State Rep. Denise Provost; John Ratliff (Mass Peace Action, Mass Senior Action), Prof. Elaine Scarry (Harvard University), Prof.Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute), Patricia-Maria Weinmann (MIT Radius).

Sponsored by MIT Radius (the former Technology and Culture Forum), Massachusetts Peace Action, and the American Friends Service Committee.