The Threat of Nuclear Terrorism
“Today, the danger of some sort of nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War, and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.”
Dr. William Perry wrote these words three years ago, and the danger has only increased. He believes strongly that we must educate ourselves on these dangers; that belief led him to create his first online course, “Living at the Nuclear Brink.” It had a very broad range, from physics to history to politics and diplomacy. He is following up that course with this new self-paced course, which is focused on one particular danger: nuclear terrorism. The course is shorter, and goes into much more detail on this one topic. The course faculty consists of internationally renowned experts, scientists, political activists and scholars; the one thing they share is a strong commitment to the urgency of educating people on this important topic. In some of the sessions, you will also hear students actively participating in the conversation.
This course differs from most online courses in a fundamental way: the goal is not just to provide facts, but to inspire you to take action. You have the power to make a difference, and this course will give you knowledge and hopefully motivation to do so. You can read more about the subject, and find ways to become involved, by visiting the website of the William J. Perry Project: www.wjperryproject.org.
Week 1: Who Are the Terrorists? What Do They Want? - Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Graham Allison, Dr. Martha Crenshaw
Week 2: What Are the Historical and Contemporary Security Issues with Nuclear Weapons and Materials? - Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Graham Allison, Dr. David Holloway, Valerie Plame Wilson
Week 3: Could a Terrorist Group Make a Nuclear Bomb? If a Terrorist Group Made an Improvised Nuclear Device, Could They Deliver It to One of Our Cities? - Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Stephen Flynn, Dr. Joseph Martz
Week 4: What Would Be the Consequences of an Improvised Nuclear Device's Detonation in a U.S. City? - Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Lynn Eden, Dr. Alex Wellerstein
Week 5: What Has Been Done to Lower the Likelihood of a Nuclear Terror Event, or to Mitigate the Damage if We Experience One? - Dr. William J. Perry, Dr. Graham Allison, Dr. Rachel Bronson, Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Rep. Ellen Tauscher
Dr. William Perry, 19th Secretary of Defense for the United States, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Hoover Institution, Director of the Preventive Defense Project
Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard’s Kennedy School
Dr. Rachel Bronson, Executive Director and Publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Dr. Martha Crenshaw, Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and Freeman Spogli Institute, Professor of Political Science by courtesy
Dr. Lynn Eden, Senior Research Scholar Emerita, Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation
Dr. Stephen Flynn, Professor of Political Science and Founding Director of the Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University
Dr. David Holloway, Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History, Professor of Political Science, and Freeman Spogli Institute Senior Fellow, Stanford University
Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
Dr. Joseph Martz, physicist and 35-year employee, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Ellen O’Kane Tauscher represented California’s 10th Congressional District in the East Bay of San Francisco for seven terms from 1997-2009
Dr. Alex Wellerstein, Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies (STS) in the College of Arts and Letters, Stevens Institute of Technology
Valerie Plame Wilson, former career covert CIA operations officer
The more you participate, the more you will get out of your experience.
Statement of Accomplishment
You will have an opportunity to obtain a Statement of Accomplishment by watching the discussion videos and completing the quizzes and gaining an overall score of at least 55%.
Please note that a Statement of Accomplishment is optional. We welcome all participants to this course, whether you seek a Statement of Accomplishment or not.
All assessments in this course are short quizzes designed to reinforce understanding of the video discussions.