RES.8-008 | Spring 2022 | Non Credit
Nuclear Weapons Education Project

Instructor Insights

To most people, especially those who are too young to remember the Cold War, the possibility of nuclear Armageddon may seem so remote as not to be worth contemplating. But Prof. Bob Redwine and Jim Walsh, two of the instructors behind MIT’s Nuclear Weapons Education Project (NWEP), warn that it may not be so unlikely after all, and that failure to take the threat of nuclear war seriously makes it more likely that it will actually occur. Redwine, Walsh, and their colleagues used their expertise from a wide array of fields to create the NWEP and its associated course 8.S271 Nuclear Weapons – History and Prospects. Together, the course and the project website represent an interdisciplinary effort to educate nonspecialists on the science, technology, and history of nuclear weapons, along with present efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation and to reach international agreements to reduce the likelihood of a world-devastating conflict. 

In the episode of the Chalk Radio podcast embedded below, we hear how the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed geopolitics forever, how a well-intentioned nuclear doctrine may have disastrous unintended consequences, and why understanding the topic of nuclear weapons requires an interdisciplinary approach.