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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Nuclear Weapons

William J. Fickinger, Ph.D. - Emeritus Professor of Physics at Case Western Reserve University
Friday March 10, 2017
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

CWRU undergraduates have grown up with scare stories about terrorism, and very little about nuclear war. Many of the faculty have very different memories: of air raid drills, fallout shelters and the Missiles of October; fears of Nuclear Winter and marches for a Nuclear Freeze. Yet even they may not have worried much about nukes in recent years.

Less attention to something, however, does not mean it has gone away. Relationships with other nuclear powers, China and Russia, have become more hostile in the past decade, and President Trump has made contradictory and puzzling statements about use of weapons by the United States, missile reduction treaties, and proliferation to other countries. Even without these developments, nuclear weapons would still represent an unprecedented threat to human civilization. Ignoring that because of lots of other worries does not seem wise.

So how did the world get to its present place on the nuclear timeline? What should we know about the technology of weapons and the history of arms control? Should we worry more about proliferation or the countries that already have the weapons? What policies might reduce the risk of nuclear holocaust?

Join us as Bill Fickinger shares his expertise and perspectives both on the technology and the politics.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Bill Fickinger is profesor emeritus in the CWRU physics department. He retired at the end of 1999 after 32 years on the faculty of Case Western Reserve - always CWRU, as he joined the department of physics in the year of federation. Professor Fickinger's research area was experimental particle physics, working for over 30 years with Keith Robinson. For about twenty years they were supported by the National Science Foundation, completing a variety of bubble chamber and counter experiments at Brookhaven and Argonne labs. These experiments contributed to the data base of particle properties which led eventually to the quark model for mesons and baryons.

In 1994 Professor Fickinger was appointed Director of Undergraduate Studies and enjoyed helping to reorganize the large introductory courses for engineers and pre-med students, as well as the establishment of several new physics-related majors and the senior honors program. He maintains the physics archives in Rockefeller, and has published a history of the department. He has been the secretary of Cleveland Peace Action for the past several years, his special interest being the elimination of all nuclear weapons. After sixty years of frustrating negotiations involving dozens of countries, the UN has scheduled new reduction efforts in 2017, while the world watches changes in Washington and reactions in Moscow.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Our programs are open to all and no registration is required. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library.

* Kelvin Smith Library requires all entrants to show identification when entering the building, unless they have a university i.d. that they can magnetically scan. We are sorry if that seems like a hassle, but it has been Library policy for a while in response to security concerns. Please do not complain to the library staff at the entrance, who are just doing their jobs.

The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Schedule of Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

March 17: No program, Spring Break.

March 24: Energy Storage: A Key to Sustainability. With Daniel A. Scherson, Ph.D., Frank Hovorka Professor of Chemistry and Director, Ernest B. Yeager Center for Electrochemical Sciences.

March 31: Merkel’s Challenge: Managing Trump, Putin, and a Million Syrians. With Mark K. Cassell, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Kent State University.

April 7: Program to be Determined

April 14: Brazil’s Political Crises. With Juscelino F. Colares, Ph.D., Schott-Van den Eyden Professor of Business Law and Associate Director, Frederick K. Cox International Law Center.

April 21: Program to be Determined

April 28: Putin’s Russia. With Kelly M. McMann, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, International Studies Program.

March 6, 2017

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

Muslim in America: A Conversation with Ayad Akhtar

A Discussion With Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, Monday, March 27, 2017, 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom A, 11038 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44106. Sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. Pre-registration for this event is recommended.

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Ayad Akhtar discusses the Muslim experience in America with Justine Howe, Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies. Akhtar is the author of American Dervish, published in over twenty languages worldwide and a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. His stage play Disgraced won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within.

Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was listed as the most produced playwright for the 2015/16 Season by American Theatre magazine. He is also a Board Trustee at PEN/America and New York Theatre Workshop. Akhtar is currently the Resident Playwright with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.

Building Bridges: Fixing the Immigration Issue and Strengthening U.S.-Mexico Relations

A Discussion With Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, Monday, April 3, 2017, 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Tinkham Veale University Center Ballroom A, 11038 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44106. Sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. Pre-registration for this event is required.

Immigration reform has long been a priority for President Vicente Fox, who, during his time in office, worked with then-President George W. Bush to negotiate immigration policy. Since leaving office, President Fox continues to emphasize the importance of immigration reform with the goal of building bridges and why America must establish sensible pathways for citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In his speech, President Fox will address why immigration reform is crucial not just for America and Mexico, but for the global community at large: “Mexico and other nations consider U.S. immigration reform important because we know our citizens will continue to migrate in search of job opportunities and a better quality of life, with freedom and respect for human rights.”

When elected to the presidency of Mexico in 2000, President Fox broke the stranglehold that the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party had held on the State for seven decades. After leaving office in 2006, President Fox and his wife founded Centro Fox, a non-profit dedicated to discover, exercise, and harness the leadership qualities we all have inside of us.

March 2017







































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