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Events

Virtual Symposium for the 75th Anniversary

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is honored to present our local, national, and international communities with a thought-provoking and relevant virtual symposium focusing on the 75th Anniversary of the ending of WWII. This virtual event will provide an understanding of the Manhattan Project and its implications on the Pacific conflict and following Cold War issues. The panels of distinguished guests will consider current and future concerns and create a public dialogue regarding a path forward for our world and defense concerns.

Learn About Speakers

"They Changed Our World; The 75th Anniversary of World War II and the Use of Atomic Weapons Virtual Symposium" will take place via Zoom Webinar on Saturday, September 19, 2020. Two panel sessions will take place, one from 8:30-10:30 am and the second from 10:45 am-1:00 pm MDT. Guests are welcome to register for one or both panel sessions, and advanced registration is required. One panel session is $25 or both panel sessions are $40 when purchased together.

Museum members and students receive a discount where one panel session is $15 or both panel sessions are $25 when purchased together. Students must provide their valid student email address to receive discount.

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8:30 to 10:30 am MDT- Manhattan Project Panel (Panel #1)

The first half of the Symposium will be dedicated to the Manhattan Project and discussions of the legacy and history of the program that created, tested, and deployed the first atomic bombs and brought forth the start of the Atomic Age.

8:30- 8:40 am - Welcome from Jim Walther, Museum Executive Director, and Cindy Kelly, Moderator

Founder and President of the Atomic Heritage Foundation, Cynthia Kelly, will be moderating all discussions and will be introducing our speakers and topics.

8:40- 9:30 am - Richard Rhodes, The Manhattan Project

Award winning author, Richard Rhodes, will be discussing the overall mission of the Manhattan Project as well as its impact on history, warfare, and the development of nuclear energy. This session will explore the dawning of the Atomic Age and the change in the course of human history that arose from the development of nuclear weapons in the 20th Century.

9:30- 10:00 am - Jon Hunner, The Manhattan Project in New Mexico

Former professor and author, Dr. Jon Hunner, will be focusing in on the long-lasting influence of the Manhattan Project on New Mexico. Having transformed the state from an agricultural economy to an economic system based in federally funded science, the effects of this program can still be seen in New Mexico today. The Manhattan Project also changed New Mexico physically as well as economically by boosting the growth of cities like Los Alamos and Albuquerque.

10:00- 10:30 am - Questions from the Audience for Cindy, Richard, & Jon

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask our experts any questions you may have and generate further discussion of the Manhattan Project.

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10:45 am to 1:00 pm MDT- 75 Years Later (Panel #2)

In the second half of the Symposium, we will be discussing the impacts of the Manhattan Project in the latter half of the 20th Century to today. Through this incredible moment in history, we will delve deeper into discussions about why this topic is still so relevant. How might we learn from the long-lasting influence that this wartime program has had on warfare, civilian life, and human history? These panelists will investigate The Cold War, global energy and conflict in relation to nuclear science, and what this may mean for our future.

10:45 - 10:55 am - Welcome from Jim Walther, Museum Executive Director, and Cindy Kelly, Moderator

Cindy Kelly will introduce our guests for the second session and moderate discussions.

10:55 - 11:25 am - Gregg Herken, The Cold War

If global conflict in the first half of the 20th Century is defined by WWI and WWII, global conflict in the Atomic Age is defined by the much more prolific and paranoid experience of the Cold War. Professor and author, Gregg Herken, will lead a discussion on the longest global geopolitical conflict in the 20th Century.

11:25 - 11:55 am - Rachel Bronson, Global Energy, Doomsday Clock

In this session President and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Rachel Bronson, will discuss the importance of global energy initiatives and her work with the Doomsday Clock in connection with the legacy of atomic science.

11:55 am - 12:25 pm - Sig Hecker, Current Threats and Future Concerns

Professor Siegfried Hecker and former director of Los Alamos National Laboratories will explore the current threats that global expansion of nuclear energy and the threat of nuclear terrorism and conflict pose to the future. By investigating history and geopolitical conflict, this session will attempt to tackle contemporary concerns surrounding nuclear science and technology development.

12:25 - 1:00 pm - Questions from the Audience for Cindy, Gregg, Rachel & Sig

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask our experts any questions you may have and generate further discussion about the continuation of the Atomic Age into the 21st Century.

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Sponsorship of "They Changed Our World; The 75th Anniversary of World War II and the Use of Atomic Weapons Virtual Symposium" presented by Clay Perkins.