Spring Conference at MIT, Saturday, May 6
The growing hostility between the US and Russia — and with North Korea and Iran — makes it more urgent than ever to reduce the risk of nuclear war, as well as to rethink plans to spend a trillion dollars replacing US nuclear weapons with new ones that will be more suited for launching a first-strike. Nuclear war can be triggered intentionally or through miscalculation — terror or error — and this conference aims to advocate and organize toward reducing and ultimately eliminating this danger.
This one-day event includes lunch as well as food for thought from a great speaker lineup, including Iran-deal broker Ernie Moniz (MIT, fmr Secretary of Energy), California Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Lisbeth Gronlund (Union of Concerned Scientists), Joe Cirincione (Ploughshares), our former congressman John Tierney, MA state reps Denise Provost and Mike Connolly, and Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons. It is not an academic conference, but rather one that addresses the political and economic realities, and attempts to stimulate and inform the kinds of social movement needed to change national policy. The focus will be on concrete steps we can take to reduce the risks.
8:45 AM – Registration and coffee
9:15 AM – Welcome from City of Cambridge: Mayor Denise Simmons
9:30 AM – Program for the Day: Prof. Jonathan King (MIT, Peace Action)
9:45 AM – Session I. The Pressing 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 Security: Prof. Aron Bernstein (MIT, Council for a Livable World).
– Accidents and Unexpected Events: Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute).
– International Tensions and Risks of further Nuclear Proliferation: TBA.
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 Disarmament: U. S. Representative Barbara Lee.
– Maintaining the Iran Nuclear Agreement: Ernie Moniz (MIT, former Secretary of Energy).
4:15 PM – Session V. Organizing to Reduce the Dangers
Chair: Jim Anderson (President, Peace Action New York State):
– Divesting from Nuclear Weapons Investments: Susi Snyder (Don’t Bank on the Bomb).
– Taxpayers Information and Transparency Acts: State Reps Denise Provost/Mike Connolly.
– Mobilizing the Scientific Community: Prof. Max Tegmark (MIT, Future of Life Institute).
– A National Nuclear Disarmament Organizing Network 2017 -2018: Program Committee.
5:00 PM – Adjourn
a) Campus Organizing – Chair: Kate Alexander (Peace Action New York 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 Initiative, University of the Middle East Project).
c) Dangerous Conflicts – Chair, Erica Fein (Women’s Action for New Directions); Jim Walsh (MT Security Studies Program); John Tierney (former US Representative, Council for a Livable World); Subrata Ghoshroy (MIT); Arnie Alpert (New Hampshire AFSC).
d) Municipal and State Initiatives – Chair: Cole Harrison (Mass Peace Action); Rep. Denise Provost (Mass State Legislature); Councilor Dennis Carlone (Cambridge City Councillor and Architect/Urban Designer); 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).
f) Reducing Nuclear Weapons through Treaties and Negotiation – Chair: Prof. Nazli Choucri (MIT), Kevin Martin (National Peace Action); Shelagh Foreman (Mass Peace Action); Joseph Gerson (AFSC); 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 United Methodist Church); Pat Ferrone (Mass Pax Christi); Rev. Paul Robeson Ford (Union Baptist Church).
50 Vassar St. Building #34 Rm 101
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139
By Red Line: Exit the Kendall Square Red Line Station and walk west (away from Boston) past Ames Street to Vassar Street. Turn left and walk halfway down Vassar to #50 MIT building 34 (broad stairs, set back entrance).
By #1 Bus: Exit in front of MIT Main Entrance. Walk 1/2 block back on Mass Ave to Vassar Street. Turn right and walk half block to #50 MIT Building 34 (broad stairs, set back entrance).
By car: Public Parking Structures are available nearby on Ames Street, between Main and Broadway. A smaller surface lot is on the corner of Mass Ave and Vassar St.
We would like to extend a special thank you to our Program Committee and sponsors for all their help creating and organizing this event.
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), 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 Weinmann (MIT Radius).
Sponsored by MIT Radius (the former Technology and Culture Forum), Massachusetts Peace Action, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Future of Life Institute.