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Experience proves that citizen engagement and collective pressure on governments can push national policies towards reducing nuclear threats worldwide. Physicists, especially in the United States, have had significant influence on nuclear weapons policy since the start of the nuclear age. Yet today, this issue receives scant attention from the US physics community broadly, reflecting the post-cold-war waning of public concern about nuclear-weapon dangers. A new generation of the physics community must become informed, engaged, and active as knowledgeable advocates on this pressing issue.
With the support of the American Physical Society and Carnegie Corporation, our project team of expert physicists has launched the Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction. Our goal is to reach out to physicists in the United States and mobilize those interested in opportunities for nuclear threat reduction. We welcome physical scientists broadly, including those in engineering. Together, we can be a powerful voice to inform Congress and other key stakeholders in policy making, including the public.
To build a national network of physicist-advocates on this issue, we are sending experts in nuclear arms control issues to physics institutions across the country to deliver colloquia, recruit physicists to the coalition, and foster local and national advocacy. Advocacy takes many forms, including educating senators, representatives, and their staffs at home and in Washington, writing articles for the public, and coordinating messaging with local action groups and national NGOs active in nuclear arms issues.