Culture and Nuclear Weapons

If we change our cultural conceptions of nuclear weapons, we can make the world safer from nuclear threats.

The dangers of nuclear weapons are rarely communicated in a way that is compelling and accessible, despite the fact that these risks affect us all. At Ploughshares Fund, we are exploring the power of media, technology, and popular culture to change perceptions and attitudes. Learn more about our Cultural Change Initiative here.

Latest News, Analysis and Explorations of Culture and Nuclear Weapons

  • The Button

    Get started on your summer reading! You can now order a new book from former Secretary of Defense and Stanford professor of international relations William Perry and Ploughshares Fund policy director Tom Collina. The Button is a fascinating narrative of our living nuclear history—one in which...

    May 8, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Press the Button

    Listen and subscribe to Press the Button, a weekly podcast from Ploughshares Fund dedicated to nuclear policy and national security. An engaging and dynamic look at one of the most critical issues of our time, Press the Button offers the latest news, insider interviews and in-...

    April 12, 2019 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • The Real Lessons of Trinity and Hiroshima

    by Zack Brown, originally published in The National Interest. Listen to the whole episode on Press the Button.Most Americans are only familiar with a symbolic history of the atomic bomb, one that can lead people “to be very supportive of policies that have been bad for the country,” argued...

    July 15, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • How to Realize Diversity in the National Security Community

    When she saw the video of George Floyd’s murder, Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, an arms control expert who had spent years ascending the ranks of Washington’s national security elite, felt she had to act.  With the help of her colleague, Neda Shaheen, Jenkins penned an open letter titled, “Standing...

    June 16, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • How America Became So Divided

    The state of the union today is a state of upheaval, said veteran journalist David Corn. We are in the midst of a perfect storm of interlocking crises — a pandemic that has killed one hundred and ten thousand Americans, an economic collapse that threatens tens of millions more, nationwide...

    June 9, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • The Science of Nuclear Explosions

    What makes nuclear weapons different from every other weapon? As we approach the 75th anniversary of the testing of the first atomic bomb, it is worth taking a closer look at the most powerful weapon ever invented. Most national security experts are familiar with fission and fusion. The atomic...

    June 4, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Black Lives Matter

    Today, Ploughshares Fund affirms what so many of our partners and allies have already said: Black Lives Matter. This week, protesters across the country have shone a light on what can no longer be ignored: the persistence of deadly and systemic racism in America. In just these past few months,...

    June 3, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • The Women’s Initiative: Creating Impact and Transformation

    Changing the conversation around nuclear weapons is fundamental to fulfilling the Ploughshares Fund mission. Just as important is ensuring that women’s voices are actually heard in these conversations. As a sarcastic Russian male diplomat best illustrated, when asked to explain his...

    May 15, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • The Anthropocene Pandemic

    The coronavirus pandemic is not only a public health issue, said former NASCAR driver and environmental activist Leilani Münter. It’s also a showcase for the threats posed by the strain humanity is putting on the planet. Case in point: while we still don’t know the exact source of COVID-19, we...

    May 12, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Nuclear Weapons, Frontline Communities, and the COVID Stimulus. What You Need to Know.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to confront the vast inequities in our society that have made this virus more deadly in some communities than others. This is also true in the world of nuclear weapons policy: US nuclear weapons activities have, and continue to, hurt communities through...

    May 7, 2020 - By Ploughshares Fund