Location: Searle 240A
Kennette Benedict, professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and Executive Director and Publisher of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, will be discussing the dilemmas of nuclear policy.
The unleashing of atomic energy has brought both peril and prosperity to human societies. In the form of nuclear weapons, governments have acquired the capacity to destroy civilization; on the other hand, in the form of electricity-generating plants, nuclear energy can power economies without emitting climate changing carbon dioxide. Of course, many technologies can be used both for military and for civilian purposes. Nuclear technology and material, however, is the most destructive on Earth, and has presented scientists, engineers, and policy leaders with grave and difficult choices over the past 70 years. The talk will focus on the dilemmas posed by nuclear technology and materials, reviewing the history of their development, the paths taken, and the consequences for global security.