“The risk of nuclear war and how physicists, acting as citizen-scientists, can help reduce it.”

  • Sept. 1, 2021, 4:00 pm US/Central
  • Frank von Hippel, Princeton University
  • Chris Stoughton

The end of the Cold War reduced fears in the US and Russia that the other might deliberately mount a nuclear attack. The two countries still maintain their hair-trigger Cold War postures, however – ready to launch their nuclear missiles within minutes of warning of an incoming attack. Also, a nuclear confrontation much like the Cold War US-Soviet confrontation over West Berlin is developing with China over Taiwan,. Finally, destabilizing defense-offense nuclear arms races are developing between the US and both China and Russia. Given this situation, the American Physical Society is sponsoring a Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction to propose nuclear-weapon risk-mitigation measures to the US Congress and public.