575 Events

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Book Talk: Inheriting the Bomb: Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament and Why It Matters

Fri., Apr. 7, 2023 | 11:00am - 12:30pm

Taubman Building - Allison Dining Room, 5th Floor

The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) invites you to attend a discussion of MTA Senior Research Associate Mariana Budjeryn’s bookInheriting the Bomb: The Collapse of the USSR and the Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023). Matthew Bunn will provide introductory remarks and Steve Miller will serve as a discussant during the session. For those attending in-person, light breakfast and refreshments will be served at 10:30am. The talk and webinar will begin at 11:00am EDT.

While this event is on the record, the event organizers prohibit any attendees, including journalists, from audio/visual recording or distributing parts or all of the event program without prior written authorization. 

A political cartoon featuring a globe biting down on a nuclear weapon.


Seminar - Open to the Public

Spheres of (In)security: Global Nuclear Order between Past and Future Injustices

Fri., Mar. 17, 2023 | 9:00am - 10:30am


The global nuclear order that comprises nuclear deterrence, nonproliferation, and disarmament is often viewed as discriminatory and increasingly castigated as unjust. Few states got to develop and deploy nuclear weapons in the name of their own security and that of their allies. Most are prohibited from doing so by the international nonproliferation regime. All stand to lose if a nuclear exchange takes place. Russia’s war against Ukraine underscored the inequities and injustices in the global nuclear order built on hierarchical spheres of (in)security. How to define injustice in nuclear affairs? How sustainable is an unjust global nuclear order? At what cost can it be maintained in its present form, and how can it be long tolerated by the future generations? The panel brings together scholars to critically reflect on past, ongoing, and future nuclear injustices – in the context of the war in Ukraine and beyond – to assess the main tensions and pave the way for a research agenda beyond the usual boundaries of the nuclear policy field and community.

Close-up of the brick apartment building, which was outfitted with a fallout shelter in the middle of the last century, 28 February 2016.

Wikimedia CC/Andre Carrotflower

Seminar - Open to the Public

Insurance or Strategy: When Does Population Protection Constitute Deterrence?

Thu., Mar. 9, 2023 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm


Speaker: Matthew Hartwell, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

When and why is population protection considered an element of U.S. nuclear deterrence? While civil defense played a negligible role in nuclear strategy throughout the early part of the Cold War, beginning in the late 1950s, the limits to the program materialized twice as a potential gap in the U.S.-Soviet nuclear balance. Examining the public and congressional reaction to the programs, this seminar will demonstrate how domestic political barriers undermined the Kennedy and Reagan administrations' attempts to alter the role of population protection in U.S. nuclear strategy.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar:

An unarmed U.S. Air Force LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches at 4:36 a.m. PST during an operational test Dec. 17, 2013, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Public Domain/USAF Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales

Seminar - Open to the Public

The Delicate Balance of Error: Perceived Counterforce Feasibility and the Nuclear Taboo

Thu., Mar. 2, 2023 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm


Speaker: David M. Allison, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

As geopolitical and technological shifts challenge the underpinnings of nuclear deterrence, the implications of a nuclear taboo become increasingly important. Crucially, if the prohibition against nuclear use is binding, improved counterforce capabilities should have no effect on support for use. This seminar presents the results of a series of experiments designed to identify taboo believers and measure the durability of their commitment to nuclear non-use by increasing their perceptions of the military effectiveness of counterforce strikes. 

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUvc-uorTkoG9C3zILDI0wrhkBFNJWCkWIU

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., speaks about climate change during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Oct. 7, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Seminar - Harvard Faculty, Fellows, Staff, and Students

Nuclear Politics with Senator Ed Markey

Thu., Jan. 19, 2023 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Taubman Building - Nye A, B, & C, 5th Floor

Join Senator Ed Markey in conversation with Professor Matthew Bunn for a discussion on nuclear issues in the shadow of the war in Ukraine. With a new Congress, and ongoing conflict in Ukraine, nuclear issues are as important as ever. What are the challenges ahead? What is being done to address them? What new thinking may be helpful?

In-person attendance is limited to HUID-holders only. The general public is welcome to join this event via Zoom.

Large explosion of Operation Crossroads, Test Baker

Public Use

Seminar - Open to the Public

Withstanding the Test: Social, Political, and Cultural Responses to Nuclear Testing in Indigenous Communities

Fri., Dec. 2, 2022 | 1:00pm - 3:00pm

For decades, the world’s nuclear powers conducted nuclear test explosions in places they deemed suitable. These areas were remote and allegedly “uninhabited.” In practice, this meant that the indigenous people living near nuclear test sites were not considered important enough to be consulted by decision-makers. These communities suffered disproportionately the consequences of 528 atmospheric nuclear tests.

A picture of Cuba with the text "Cuban Missile Crisis at 60"

Bennett Craig

Conference - Open to the Public

Cuban Missile Crisis at 60: Lessons of the Past and Relevance for the Present

Fri., Oct. 14, 2022 | 8:30am - 5:00pm

Barker Center - Thompson Room

The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 continues to stand as the single most dangerous event of the nuclear age, when the world came closer than ever before or since to the prospect of nuclear annihilation. Scholars and analysts continue to revisit the CMC to learn its lessons in order to avoid nuclear dangers in the future. A number of recent accounts have shed new light on the various aspects of and incidents within the CMC, providing us with a better understanding of the dynamics of the crisis. As the world marks 60 years since those fateful events, the risk of nuclear conflagration is once again on the rise. Russia, a major nuclear power, is waging a war against Ukraine, a state supported by the United States and NATO, a nuclear-armed alliance. What were the most dangerous moments of the CMC? What contributed to and what ameliorated the risks of a nuclear conflagration? What can we learn from the CMC that is pertinent for preventing a conventional war in Ukraine from crossing the nuclear threshold? MTA brings together historians and political scientists to discuss the state of the art of history and politics of the Cuban Missile Crisis and gauge its relevance for the war in Ukraine and for future crises and conflicts. 

In-person Registration (Click Here)        Zoom Registration (Click Here)


A stack of books about nuclear weapons.

Mariana Budjeryn

Special Series - Open to the Public

Beyond the Nuclear Canon: Teaching the Bomb in the 21st Century

Fri., Sep. 23, 2022 | 10:00am - 12:00pm



Over the past several decades, the nuclear field has developed a classical canon of seemingly sacred texts. These works are likely to be assigned in university-level courses on nuclear policy across the United States and the globe. Over the past few years, however, the nuclear field – just as affected by hierarchies and injustices as other social milieus – has been shaken by calls to critically rethink the global nuclear predicament and engage with more diverse voices and perspectives. This must involve interrogating the transmitter of nuclear knowledge: the academic syllabus. It is imperative to revisit how nuclear courses are taught, what questions are raised, and what texts are assigned. Accordingly, MTA brings together a group of exceptional scholars and long-time teachers of nuclear history and politics to discuss challenges, discoveries, frustrations, and the importance of teaching the bomb in the 21st century.




UN HQ in New York

Brian Godfrey via Wikimedia Commons

Conference - Open to the Public

Atomic Backfires: How Great Power Nuclear Policies Fail

Thu., Aug. 11, 2022 | 10:00am - 12:00pm

The Tenth Review Conference (RevCon) of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will take place from 1 to 26 August 2022 at the United Nations' in New York.

On Thursday, August 11, from 10am-12 pm, the Project on Managing the Atom will host an in-person only conference side-event titled "Atomic Backfires: How Great Power Nuclear Policies Fail" in Conference Room B.

This panel discussion will launch a book by the same name. Moderated by Francesca Giovannini, the panel will include the following speakers: David M. Allison, Sarah Bidgood, Hyun-Binn Cho, Stephen Herzog, and Ariel F. W. Petrovics.

For questions regarding event attendance and logistics, please contact Project on Managing the Atom's Project Coordinator, Marina Lorenzini, at mlorenzini@hks.harvard.edu. We are unable to provide badges to members of the public to enter the conference.