Nuclear danger is focus of new Chancellor’s forum
Series’ first event is slated for Monday, May 7

By Cathy Cockrell, Public Affairs

02 May 2001 | More than two decades ago, the Berkeley campus held a heavily attended, high-level forum on nuclear arms and East-West relations.

The Cold War has since ended, and with it much of the public anxiety about the threat of nuclear war. But with the nation now poised to debate a controversial national missile defense system, campus and community organizations have joined forces to create The Chancellor’s Forum on Nuclear Danger and Global Survival.

“With the end of the Cold War and the demise of the conflict between capitalism and communism, we have to rethink the role of nuclear weapons,” says Harry Kreisler, executive director of the Institute of International Studies, a forum sponsor. “In public dialogue, new policies — not only missile defense but also abolition — need to be debated. If we are propelled into the future without reflection, a new and dangerous arms race could be an unintended consequence.”

With sponsorship from the Chancellor’s Office, the forum plans to bring leading voices to campus at least once each semester for a public discussion of nuclear dangers and other threats to global survival.

The first event in the series — “The New World of Nuclear Weapons: Are We on the Brink of a New Arms Race?” — is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, May 7, in Sibley Auditorium. Authors Jonathan Schell and Frances Fitzgerald and Dean Michael Nacht of the Goldman School of Public Policy will be among the panelists.

“Of all the forgotten issues that bedevil the world today, it is hard to think of one that is more dangerous and less well attended to than the question of nuclear weapons,” says Orville Schell, dean of journalism. “While it is true that they are a residue of the Cold War, it is also true that they are still a grave menace to mankind, especially as we teeter on the verge of a new arms race.”

Forum sponsors include the Graduate School of Journalism, the Goldman School of Public Policy, the Institute of International Studies and the Office of Public Affairs. The Global Security Institute, in San Francisco, is serving in an advisory role.

The May 7 panel discussion will be followed by five major events planned for fall 2001 through fall 2003. They will highlight historical figures in the nuclear arms race, Bush administration policies, theological perspectives, the media and weapons of mass destruction, and international perspectives on nuclear weapons nations China, Pakistan and Russia.

More information:
“The New World of Nuclear Weapons: Are We on the Brink of a New Arms Race?”


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