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Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction

The New York Academy of Medicine

1216 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10029, USA

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Event Description

Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction l February 28-March 1, 2015 at The New York Academy of Medicine


A unique, two-day symposium at which an international panel of leading experts in disarmament, political science, artificial intelligence, existential risk, anthropology, medicine, nuclear weapons and other nuclear issues will be held at The New York Academy of Medicine on Feb 28- March 1, 2015. The public is welcome.

A project of The Helen Caldicott Foundation

Important notice: Tickets will be on sale online until noon on Feb  27th, 2015. Register early to reserve your place. After the cut off date you will have to pay by CASH at the venue.

There will be NO FOOD OPTION for those who do not pre-register.

There is no bank machine in the building.

  • THE CUT OFF DATE FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION IS NOON on FEBRUARY 27th, 2015. Registering in advance online will include complimentary lunch.

  • Lunch will not be included if you register at the door.

  • The doors will open at 8am for seating and late/day of  registration. The event will begin promptly at 9am on both days. 

The event will be live streamed, watch for link here...

  • Because of the live stream attendees will not be admitted while presenters are speaking. 

    Please arrive at 8am to check-in and/or buy tickets.


The Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction. 

Russia and the U.S. possess 94% of the 16,400 nuclear weapons in the global nuclear arsenal. The U.S. maintains its first strike winnable nuclear war policy, and both countries have raised their nuclear arsenals to a higher state of alert because of the situation in the Ukraine. Furthermore it has just been announced that the administration has plans to replace every nuclear warhead and their delivery systems via ship, submarine, missile and plane, at a cost of one trillion dollars over the next thirty years.


This symposium to be held by The Helen Caldicott Foundation will address the following issues: 

.     What are the human and technological factors that could precipitate a nuclear war between Russia and the U.S., how many times have we come close to nuclear war and how long will our luck hold?

.      What are the ongoing technological and financial developments relevant to the nuclear weapons arsenals of the US and Russia?

.     What problems are associated with lateral proliferation of nuclear weapons via strenuous corporate marketing of nuclear technology?

.     What are the medical and environmental consequences of either a small or large scale nuclear war?

.     What are the underlying philosophical, political, and ideological dynamics that have brought life on earth to the brink of extinction?

.     How can we assess this situation from an anthropological perspective?

.     What is the pathology within the present political situation that could lead us to extinction?

.     How can this nuclear pathology be cured? 


Moderated by: 


 Kennette Benedict, Executive Director and Publisher, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Day Two: Ray Acheson, Director, Reaching Critical Will

The Presenters (confirmed speakers, speaking order may change):


  • Theodore Postol - Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy, MIT – Striving for Armageddon    
  • Seth Baum- Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, will address the catastrophic risk of nuclear war
  • Max Tegmark -  Professor of physics at MIT and author of “Our Mathematical Universe”, will discuss artificial intelligence and the risk of  accidental nuclear war.
  • Hans Kristensen - Federation of American Scientists, will address the status and trends of the world's nuclear arsenals
  • Bill Hartung- Center for International Policy, will discuss the inordinate power and pathological dynamics exercised by the US military industrial complex
  • Greg Mello -Los Alamos Study Group, the role and funding of the nuclear weapons laboratories inherent within the US nuclear armament dilemma
  • John Feffer - Institute of Policy Studies will compare the money spent on the US military industrial complex compared with the paltry amount spent on the prevention of global warming
  • Robert Parry- Investigative Journalist, Consortium News- Ukraine and the Human Factor: How propaganda and passions can risk nuclear conflagration
  • Bruce Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, will elucidate the ongoing and dangerous militarization of space
  • Bob Alvarez - Institute of Policy Studies, will discuss lateral proliferation and describe how a small nuclear exchange could trigger a global holocaust
  • Steven Starr– Senior Scientist PSR, Associate Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Nuclear War: An Unrecognized Mass Extinction Event Waiting to Happen.
  • Holly Barker – Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, Medical, Teratogenic and Genetic pathology related to US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.
  • Alan Robock – Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Environmental Sciences. Rutgers University, will outline his pioneering work on Nuclear Famine and Nuclear Winter.
  • Alex Wellerstein