Press the Button

Press the Button

Explore “The Shadow of Oppenheimer” with this weekly podcast produced by Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. The atomic bomb changed the world. We look at the radiation-exposed lives that exist in the shadow Oppenheimer’s nuclear legacy and how pop culture idolizes the man over the shadow.


September 1, 2020 30 mins

Lynn Fahselt, co-founder and executive director of ReThink Media, joins Press the Button for a discussion on how to reshape the public conversation on nuclear weapons in order to successfully enact better, safer nuclear policy. Early Warning features Dr. Lauren Borja and Dr. Katlyn Turner discussing their recent article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists calling for anti-racist action and accountability in the nuclear field.

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Dr. Emma Belcher, president of Ploughshares Fund, joins a special episode of Press the Button for an in-depth discussion on what needs to be done to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and build a safe, secure world.

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September 15, 2020 40 mins

Dr. James Acton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace joins Press the Button for an in-depth discussion on what secret nuclear weapons program President Donald Trump was referring to in his recent interview with journalist Bob Woodward, and what could happen if nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities continue to become increasingly entangled. Early Warning features William Hartung of the Center for International Policy on ...

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September 22, 2020 38 mins

Laicie Heeley, CEO of Inkstick Media and the host/executive producer of the PRX podcast Things That Go Boom, joins Press the Button for a discussion on the lack of inclusive domestic and foreign policymaking in the United States, and how our national security priorities must change in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Early Warning features co-host Tom Collina and Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists discussing...

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September 29, 2020 35 mins

Mike Sweeney, a fellow at Defense Priorities and former think tank analyst focused on US foreign policy and defense planning, joins Press the Button for a discussion on why the United States should take its nuclear weapons out Europe. Early Warning features Dr. Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute for International Studies and Ploughshares Fund deputy policy director Mary Kaszynski discussing US plans to reimpose sanctions on ...

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October 6, 2020 44 mins

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, comes back to Press the Button to discuss the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a UN resolution that was passed in 2017 and is now just five ratifications shy of the 50 needed to enter into force. Early Warning features our senior program officer/nuclear field coordinator John Carl Baker and Pranay Vaddi, a fellow in the Nuclear ...

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October 13, 2020 35 mins

William J. Perry, 19th US Secretary of Defense, is back on Press the Button with our policy director Tom Collina on their recent Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, which answered questions posted by hundreds of internet users on presidential authority to start a nuclear war and whether the military would refuse a legal order to launch nuclear weapons. Tom and Secretary Perry authored the new book The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Rac...

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October 19, 2020 47 mins

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, joins Press the Button for an exclusive interview on the emergence of cyber conflict between countries, and how the rise of cyberweapons like the Stuxnet virus transformed geopolitics. His book The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age, is the basis of a new HBO Original Documentary. Early Warning features Alexandra Bell of the Center for Arms Co...

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October 27, 2020 43 mins

Stephen Wertheim, Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, joins Press the Button for an in-depth analysis of the decades-long consensus around US global military dominance, and how views on American primacy are changing among the public and politicians. Early Warning features Jessica Lee of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and Shannon Bugos of the Arms Control Associ...

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November 3, 2020 45 mins

Alexandra I. Toma, executive director of the Peace and Security Funders Group, joins Press the Button for a discussion on how the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession has changed philanthropy, and what the foundations and wealthy individuals that want to create a more peaceful, secure world must do to achieve their goals in a changed world. Early Warning features Alicia Sanders-Zakre of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuc...

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November 10, 2020 36 mins

Heather Hurlburt, director of the New Models of Policy Change project at New America's Political Reform program, is back on Press the Button to discuss the domestic and international challenges that await US President-elect Joe Biden, who is set to take office in January 2021. Early Warning features our deputy director of policy Mary Kaszynski and Marissa Conway of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy on the Trump administration'...

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November 17, 2020 46 mins

Michael Krepon and Lovely Umayam of the Stimson Center join Press the Button for a unique look at what is possible for future nuclear policy, and how the nuclear policy field should respond in the face of weakened arms control agreements, increased nuclear arsenal modernization, and a new presidential administration in the United States. Early Warning features Steven Pifer of the Brookings Institution on what the incoming Joe Biden...

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November 24, 2020 40 mins

Jon Wolfsthal of Global Zero and Alexandra Bell of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation discuss what to expect from President-elect Joe Biden on nuclear policy issues, and what work needs to be done to reduce current nuclear threats. Early Warning features our deputy policy director Mary Kaszynski discussing revelations that President Donald Trump sought options to attack Iran in response to a recent increase in the co...

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December 1, 2020 50 mins

Neuroscientist Moran Cerf and PopTech president Leetha Filderman, join Press the Button for an illuminating discussion on how behavioral science can be applied to nuclear deterrence theory. Early Warning features our deputy policy director Mary Kaszynski and Andrew Albertson of Foreign Policy for American on President-elect Joe Biden's recent appointments for top national security roles, and the recent assassination of an Iranian n...

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December 8, 2020 32 mins

Dr. Ariane Tabatabai, Middle East Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, is back on Press the Button to discuss the recent assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, and how this could affect US-Iran relations as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take power. Early Warning features Laura Grego of the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzing the recent US...

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December 15, 2020 46 mins

David Vine, professor of political anthropology at American University, talks to Ploughshares Fund board member Farshad Farahat for a special discussion on the historical consequences of the United States' foreign policy, and its effect on millions of lives across the world. Vine is the author of the new book, The United States of War: A Global History of America's Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State​. Early Warni...

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December 22, 2020 43 mins

Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, joins Press the Button for an in-depth discussion on the intersection of the movement for saner nuclear policy and movements for achieving racial justice, protecting the environment and establishing a fairer economy. Early Warning features Liza Arias of Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security and Kaleigh Thomas of Center for a New American Security on the recent S...

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December 29, 2020 29 mins

A special episode of Press the Button features co-hosts Michelle Dover and Tom Collina looking back at the highlights (and lowlights) of national security and nuclear policy in 2020, and what we can look forward to in the new year.

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January 5, 2021 45 mins

Drs. Katlyn Turner, Denia Djokic, and Aditi Verma join Press the Button for an in-depth discussion on how systemic racism in the nuclear field is produced and sustained, and what needs to happen in order to begin combating it. Drs. Turner, Djokic, and Verma recently co-authored an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists titled "A Call for Anti-Racist Action and Accountability in the US Nuclear Community." Early Warning fea...

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January 12, 2021 51 mins

Dr. Herbert Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, joins Press the Button for a discussion on cyberattacks and their potential effects on nuclear weapons in the wake of the SolarWinds hack that targeted at least 18,000 government and private networks. Early Warning features Derek Johnson of Global Zero and Patrick Hiller of the Jubitz Family Foundation an...

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