Participating Congregations and Organizations
  • American Muslim Voice
  • Bahá'í Community of Palo Alto
  • Beyt Tikkun Synagogue
  • First Baptist Church Palo Alto
  • First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) Palo Alto
  • First Evangelical Lutheran Church Palo Alto
  • First Presbyterian Church Palo Alto
  • First United Methodist Church Palo Alto
  • Network of Spiritual Progressives
  • Palo Alto Friends Meeting
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Palo Alto (Catholic)
  • Social Action Committee of the Redwood City Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship
  • Trinity Church in Menlo Park (Episcopal)
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos
  • West Bay Chapter, Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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Defusing the Nuclear Threat Spring 2010 Series

With President Obama about to sign an historic new nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, and the United States Congress about to take that treaty up for ratification, MVPJ invites you to attend this important series of lectures at Stanford University in Spring 2010. Read more for details.

Defusing the Nuclear Threat
Spring Quarter 2010
Stanford Lecture Series Schedule

As part of our effort to create pockets of nuclear awareness in the Stanford area, we are offering the following series of lectures during the Spring 2010 quarter. While you are welcome just to come and listen, we hope you will consider joining our effort to create societal awareness of this critical issue by inviting friends to join you. If you have to talk to ten friends to get one to come, your efforts with the other nine are still important contributions since most people need to hear about an issue several times before they give it serious attention. All talks are free of charge and open to the public.


Locations and Admission

Except for April 20, all events will take place in Hewlett Teaching Center, room 201, located on the Stanford campus, just off Serra Mall, 1.5 blocks west of the Oval. Google Maps will respond to Hewlett Teaching Center 94305 with the exact location, including the building name.

The April 20 event will be held in Paul Brest Hall, in the recently opened Munger Graduate Residence, Building 4. Munger is located at 555 Salvatierra Walk, just north of Campus Drive East, near its intersection with Alvarado Row. Google Maps will respond to 555 Salvatierra Walk 94305 with the location of Munger, though not necessarily Building 4. Munger is so new that Salvatierra Walk is not on the map yet.

Admission to all events is free of charge.



Prof. Martin Hellman, "Defusing the Nuclear Threat: An Audacious Plan"
April 13, 2010, 7:00-8:30 PM, Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201
Martin Hellman is Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He was the first to suggest applying quantitative risk analysis to nuclear deterrence, and has shown that depending on nuclear weapons for our security is as risky as living in a town surrounded by thousands of nuclear power plants. This talk explains why the danger is much greater than society perceives. It then presents a novel approach for overcoming society's inaction, where the first step depends on small groups of individuals taking initiative. This seemingly audacious plan has won support from a number of prominent individuals, including former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

The Hon. George Shultz, The Hon. William Perry, Prof. Sidney Drell, Mr. Philip Taubman, "Nuclear Tipping Point"
April 20, 2010, 4:00-6:00 PM, Paul Brest Hall, Munger Residence, Building 4
George Shultz served as Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, and was a key figure in the historic negotiations that led to the end of the Cold War. William Perry, served as Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton. Sidney Drell is Professor and Deputy Director, Emeritus, at SLAC. Philip Taubman, is a consulting professor at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), working on a book about the efforts of Sidney Drell, Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, Bill Perry and George Shultz to reduce nuclear dangers. He is a former reporter and editor at the New York Times, where he specialized in national security issues. This event will feature a screening of the new movie "Nuclear Tipping Point," that also includes Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn and Gen. Colin Powell. The movie will be followed by a discussion.

Notes: Stanford's Hoover Institution is the primary sponsor of this event. Our project is a co-sponsor.
If you plan on attending "Nuclear Tipping Point" on April 20, please RSVP as soon as possible to, indicating that you plan to attend. While you will also be welcome without replying, doing so will help ensure adequate seating is arranged.

Pre-release Screening of "Countdown to Zero"
April 27, 2010, 7:00-9:00 PM, Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201
Produced by Academy Award winner Lawrence Bender, whose recent credits include "Inglorious Basterds" and "An Inconvenient Truth," this stunning documentary graphically makes the case for "zero" – worldwide nuclear disarmament. Literally be the first on your block to see this exciting new film that won't be generally released until this summer – with free admission an added bonus. Premiering at this year's Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, it was written and directed by award winner Lucy Walker (The Devil's Playground, Blind Sight). "Countdown" features international superstars Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Tony Blair, Pervez Musharraf and Valerie Plame.

Dr. Joseph Martz, "Nuclear Deterrence: Past, Present and Future"
May 4, 2010, 7:00-8:30 PM, Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201
Joseph Martz is the inaugural William Perry CISAC Fellow at Stanford, on leave from Los Alamos, where he headed their RRW (Reliable Replacement Warhead) design team. This talk reviews US nuclear weapons development and its close linkage to deterrence during the Cold War. Looking forward, the shift in policy to a goal of further reductions in, and ultimate elimination of, nuclear weapons presents new challenges. It will be suggested how – contrary to popular thinking – redesigning our nuclear weapons and reconfiguring the nuclear weapons complex could contribute to further reductions, and potentially, the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Prof. Siegfried Hecker, "The Greatest Nuclear Risks"
May 11, 2010, 7:00-8:30 PM, Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201
Siegfried Hecker is Director Emeritus of Los Alamos National Laboratories and co-Director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). He describes his talk as follows: The exchange of hundreds of nuclear weapons which would threaten life on Earth as we know it has all but disappeared with the end of the Cold War. The potential of a limited nuclear exchange has increased with the spread of nuclear weapons to places like South Asia. Yet, the greatest nuclear risk stems from the potential of sub-national or terrorist groups obtaining fissile materials, building an improvised nuclear device, and exploding it in a major city somewhere in the world. I will present my list of the greatest threats, headed by Pakistan, and explore what we must do to manage these risks.

Paul Chappell, "Why Peace Is Possible and How We Can Achieve It"
May 18, 2010, 7:00-8:30 PM, Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201
Paul Chappell is a 2002 West Point graduate who served in the US Army for seven years, was deployed to Baghdad, and left active duty in November 2009 as a Captain. He currently serves as Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and speaks throughout the nation at schools, veterans groups, churches, and other organizations. He is the author of Will War Ever End?: A Soldier's Vision of Peace for the 21st Century and the forthcoming The End of War: How Waging Peace Can Save Humanity, Our Planet, and Our Future. He describes this talk as follows: "Like most Americans, I grew up thinking that peace was a naive dream. In this talk, I explain how I learned at West Point and in the military that peace is possible, and how we can take steps toward achieving it. I also explain what waging peace means and how, in the nuclear age, waging peace is required to ensure the survival of humanity and protect our planet."
Room subject to change.

Dr. Tad Daley, "Apocalypse Never"
May 27, 2010, 7:00-8:30 PM, Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201
Tad Daley is author of Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World. and the Writing Fellow at the 1985 Nobel Peace Laureate, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. His past experience includes working in the International Policy Department at RAND, where many Cold War Era nuclear theories were forged, and serving as a speechwriter and policy advisor to several members of Congress.
Date, title and absract are subject to change.

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