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Tuesday, December 27 - Due to inclement weather, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will open at 10 am.

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Recorded Virtual Symposium for the 75th Anniversary

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History was 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 provided an understanding of the Manhattan Project and its implications on the Pacific conflict and following Cold War issues. The panels of distinguished guests considered current and future concerns and create a public dialogue regarding a path forward for our world and defense concerns.

Purchase Symposium Recording

"They Changed Our World; The 75th Anniversary of World War II and the Use of Atomic Weapons Virtual Symposium" took place via Zoom Webinar on Saturday, September 19, 2020. Two panel sessions took place, and you are now welcome to purchase the recording(s) - the 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 recording is $15 or both panel session recordings are $25 when purchased together. Students must provide their valid student email address to receive discount.


Manhattan Project Panel (Panel #1)

The first half of the Symposium was 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.

Welcome from Jim Walther, Museum Executive Director, and Cindy Kelly, Moderator

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

Richard Rhodes, The Manhattan Project

Award winning author, Richard Rhodes, discussed 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.

Jon Hunner, The Manhattan Project in New Mexico

Former professor and author, Dr. Jon Hunner, focused 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.

Questions from the Audience for Cindy, Richard, & Jon

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


75 Years Later (Panel #2)

In the second half of the Symposium, the speakers discussed 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 investigated The Cold War, global energy and conflict in relation to nuclear science, and what this may mean for our future.

Welcome from Jim Walther, Museum Executive Director, and Cindy Kelly, Moderator

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

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, led a discussion on the longest global geopolitical conflict in the 20th Century.

Rachel Bronson, Global Energy, Doomsday Clock

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

Sig Hecker, Current Threats and Future Concerns

Professor Siegfried Hecker and former director of Los Alamos National Laboratories explored 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.

Questions from the Audience for Cindy, Gregg, Rachel & Sig

Audience members had 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.

Purchase Symposium Recording

Recordings will be available for purchase until December 31, 2020.


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.