Speaker: JI Yeon-jung, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom


Science and politics result in dynamic political interactions, primarily between scientists and policymakers. While scientists and policymakers have traditionally played different roles, the increasing emphasis on science and its military applications for national security have required a broader engagement of scientists beyond their role as truth-seekers. In the wake of the first nuclear age, nuclear scientists gained unprecedented persuasive power that could be applied to dismantle established international relations. The strong position that nuclear scientists acquired in nuclear weapons states was mirrored in many nuclear-aspiring countries; however, their contributions varied due to different political, economic, and social compositions.

India’s case provides a distinctive historical narrative, as nuclear scientists appeared to be more successful in occupying seats in top decision-making processes by neutralizing other ministerial and parliamentary interventions during the state-building process. In this seminar, the speaker will examine the evolution of the authority that scientists designed to secure collective interest in expanding the nuclear program and in demonstrating the nuclear explosive capability to underline India’s scientific autonomy.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

For more information, email the International Security Program Assistant at susan_lynch@harvard.edu.