Living at the Nuclear Brink: An Introduction by Dr. William J. Perry
I have been living at the nuclear brink for all of my adult life, and throughout my career in academia, private industry, and the U.S. government, I have dealt first-hand with the evolving nuclear threat. Nuclear weapons may seem like 20th century history, but the choices we make about these weapons in the 21st century will decide your future in truly fundamental ways. Because most people do not understand just how serious these dangers are today, their governments are not taking adequate preventive actions: actions that are readily achievable. And so, we are drifting towards a nuclear catastrophe. This is why I have dedicated the balance of my life to educate the public about these dangers, and this is the reason I have created this course. I have been joined in this effort by an outstanding and uniquely qualified group of educators and public servants who share my concerns about nuclear weapons.
The key goals of this course are to warn you of the dangers you face and to give you some insight on what could be done to avoid those dangers. My challenge in this course is to make vivid to you that the dangers of nuclear weapons, far from being historical curiosities, are existential dangers today. You will have the opportunity to engage in discussions about these topics with both world experts and peers from around the globe.
You can take this course any way you wish. To earn a Statement of Accomplishment, you will view all of the lectures, participate in weekly forums, and complete quizzes on the course content. We have organized the course segments in a logical order, both chronologically and thematically. However, each segment stands alone and can be viewed independently, and still be a useful experience, even if you do not seek a Statement of Accomplishment.
The course differs from many others in a fundamental way: our goal is not just to provide facts for your education, but to inspire you to take action. You have the power to make a difference, and I believe that this course will give you the knowledge and motivation to do so. You can read more about this subject, and find ways to become involved, by visiting the website of the William J Perry Project: www.wjperryproject.org
Week 1: Introduction; What Are Nuclear Weapons and Why Were They Developed? Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Joseph Martz; Dr. Siegfried Hecker
Week 2: Nuclear Proliferation in the United States and Around the World Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Joseph Martz; Dr. Siegfried Hecker
Week 3: Under a Nuclear Cloud: Early Cold War Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. David Holloway
Week 4: Fear and Loathing and Relief: Later Cold War Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. David Holloway
Week 5: A Lack of Intelligence Dr. William J. Perry; Philip Taubman
Week 6: Dilemmas of Nuclear Policy Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Scott Sagan; Dr. David Holloway; Dr. Andre Kokoshin
Week 7: New Nuclear Dangers: Nuclear Terrorism Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Martha Crenshaw; Dr. Siegfried Hecker
Week 8: New Nuclear Dangers: South Asia and Proliferation Dr. William J. Perry; Dr. Scott Sagan; Dr. Martha Crenshaw; Dr. Siegfried Hecker; Dr. Andre Kokoshin
Week 9: What Has Been Done, and Can Be Done, about Nuclear Dangers Dr. William J. Perry; Amb. James Goodby; Secretary George Shultz
Week 10: What Next? Dr. William J. Perry; Joseph Cirincione
James Goodby, Joseph Cirincione and William J. Perry
Sivanandacompleted this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
Very illuminating course. Both the course instructor and the speakers are people with very deep knowledge and who have actively been in the decision making process of their governments at the highest levels. The weekly interviews which take up questions and discuss current affairs in the context of the course makes the course feel very current.