Physics Colloquium: The Growing Danger of Nuclear Weapons (and How Physicists Can Help Reduce It)
Dr. Laura Grego, Union of Concerned Scientists
Abstract: While nuclear weapons might sound like Cold War relics, in truth the immense risks they pose to all humanity are still very much with us. In fact, trends indicate the risks may be growing with the abandonment of arms control agreements, the development of new types of strategic weapons, and conflicts involving nuclear-armed nations. Physicists have historically constructively engaged policymakers and their communities to help reduce nuclear dangers. This talk will explain the current nuclear crisis, provide feasible remedies, and introduce ways physicists can get involved.
Biography: Dr. Laura Grego is a senior scientist and the research director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, where she has worked at the intersection of science and public policy, in particular nuclear weapons, missile defense, and space security issues, for twenty years. She recently completed a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship at the Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy at MIT. Dr. Grego serves on the American Physical Society’s (APS) Panel on Public Affairs as the representative of the Forum on Physics and Society and serves on the steering committee of the Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction. She is an associate editor for the journal Science and Global Security, and a 2021 Fellow of the APS and a recipient of the 2022 APS Leo Szilard Award. Dr. Grego focuses her analysis and advocacy on missile defense, outer space security, and nuclear weapons. She has authored or co-authored numerous papers on a range of topics, including cosmology, space security, and missile defense, and has testified before Congress and addressed the UN General Assembly and the UN Conference on Disarmament on security issues. Before joining UCS, Dr. Grego was a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She earned a PhD in experimental physics at the California Institute of Technology, and a BS in physics and astronomy at the University of Michigan.