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Recent and upcoming nonproliferation activities, events, and announcements involving the CNS center, staff, and programs.
Updated: Dec 14, 2012
Japanese & American High School Teachers Discuss the Possibility of a World Without Nuclear Weapons
High school teachers from Japan and the United States discuss nuclear disarmament at the Critical Issues Forum's teachers' training workshop.
For the first time in the Critical Issues Forum's (CIF) history, Japanese high school teachers from Hiroshima and Nagasaki participated in the teachers' workshop along with five US high school teachers. Five American teachers from California, including two from schools in Monterey and one from Sacramento, as well as others from Massachusetts and Wisconsin, gathered at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) from November 29 to December 1, 2012.
In addition to these teachers who participated in the face-to-face meeting, several Russian teachers and US teachers joined the workshop using an online conference tool.
Two teachers from Hiroshima, front, focus on a lecture.
A Nuclear Weapon-Free World
This year's CIF topic is Toward a World without Nuclear Weapons: Progress, Prospects, and Challenges. It focuses on the two-fold question of the feasibility and desirability of a world free of nuclear weapons. Teachers at the workshop explored progress made and challenges that still remain toward that goal with CNS experts.
It is significant for both American and Japanese teachers to study this topic at this critical time in nuclear history, considering rising threats in the Middle East and East Asia. The participation of three high schools from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two cities that experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in August 1945, is particularly enriching, as they are among the most active schools for peace and disarmament education, and eager to work with US high schools for future generations.
Dr. Avner Cohen, Director of the Nonproliferation Education Program, discusses the roles of civil society in delegitimizing nuclear weapons.
The Critical Issues Forum Workshop
The Critical Issues Forum (CIF) is a unique program of project-based education and outreach activities designed to promote awareness of nonproliferation, disarmament, and international peace and security issues and to develop critical thinking skills by high school students. CIF develops appreciation among the participants of different national and cultural perspectives on complex but vital international security issues.
At the workshop, teachers were introduced to this year's curriculum that the CIF project team developed in consultation with CNS experts, and received instruction on how to conduct the CIF program with students. CNS experts delivered lectures of various aspects related to nuclear disarmament, progress, and challenges.
Ambassador Aruni Wijewardane, Director of the International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program, lectures on the roles of non-nuclear weapon states to the path toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
Lectures by CNS Experts
Content lectures included the current status of nuclear weapons worldwide, including the number of nuclear weapons in both Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) nuclear weapon states, and non-NPT nuclear weapon states, factual information such as the scientific aspects of nuclear weapons, including basic weapons types and design, and the effects of nuclear weapon use.
Content lectures were given by CNS experts and MIIS faculty members:
Participants also studied the role of nuclear weapons during and after the Cold War, and investigated why countries attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, the concept of deterrence and various current and past efforts to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons including multilateral, bilateral, and unilateral initiatives.
Participants also discussed progress toward nuclear disarmament, as well as the remaining political and technical challenges, including new proliferation threats posed by Iran and North Korea, and the possible acquisition of nuclear material or weapons by terrorist groups.
Dr. Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, Scientist-in-Residence at CNS, discusses nuclear weapons from a scientific perspective.
The workshop also provided scientific perspectives to discuss fundamental and technical challenges toward a world free of nuclear weapons. CIF teachers benefitted from enhanced science education at the hands of CNS's in-house nuclear physicists.Dr. Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, CNS Scientist-in-Residence, discussed what nuclear weapons are from a technical perspective, including different weapons designs.
Dr. George Moore and Dr. Yousaf Butt, two other Scientists-in-Residence who joined CNS this year, discussed the effects of the use of nuclear weapons and technical challenges in nuclear disarmament, respectively.
View Workshop Slides & Agenda
View the agenda for the complete lectures slides.
Dr. Jeffrey Knopf, Program Chair, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies, lectures on nuclear weapons in today's world.
Discussions and Lively Questions
Participants actively engaged in discussions and raised many lively questions. Teachers who had previously participated in the program shared their experiences regarding effective ways to implement the CIF program at each school. On the last day of the workshop, teachers discussed the future direction of the high school nonproliferation education program with the goal of enhancing the quality of students' work and reaching out to a larger number of high schools all around the world.
The teachers who participated in the workshop will work with their students on the topic of nuclear disarmament during the next semester. Participants are also encouraged to communicate with other schools. In order to enhance the US-Japan exchange, students in both countries will communicate with each other using online communication technology in the process of conducting the project.
Teachers and students will come back to Monterey to present projects demonstrating their study of this year's topic at a student-teacher conference in April 2013.
Participants in the 2012 CIF teachers' workshop.
Related CIF Items
Masha Serttunc, a teacher at Santa Catalina School in Monterey, CA, introduces her experience with the CIF Project at her school.
Dr. William Potter, CNS Director, gives welcome remarks to CIF teachers with online participants from Russia in the background.
Jon Wolfsthal, CNS Deputy Director, discusses domestic and international political challenges to nuclear disarmament.
Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the EANP at CNS, introduces the issue of global disarmament.
Dr. Yousaf Butt, Scientist-in-Residence at CNS, talks about missile defense and arms control.
Dr. George Moore, Scientist-in-Residence at CNS, describes the effects of the use of nuclear weapons.
Amanda Moodie, IONP Research Associate, describes international nonproliferation and disarmament regimes.
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