Nuclear Weapons Policy Analyst Receives $392,000 grant

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Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support author Ward Wilson's research & writing about international nuclear weapons policy.

Ward Wilson

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The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded a $392,000 grant to Princeton-based nuclear weapons policy analyst and award-winning writer Ward Wilson.

The grant supports Wilson's ground-breaking research and writing on the changing nature of the international debate about nuclear weapons and on the "new realism" about nuclear weapons: emerging notions that they are costly, dangerous, but not very useful. These new, pragmatic arguments undermine the rationale for keeping these dangerous weapons while at the same time breaking with the deadlocked debates of the past.

Wilson is director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project, a project of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Monterey Institute for International Studies. CNS will administer the grant over three years.

Wilson is increasingly the source of fundamental challenges to the nuclear status quo and asserts that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the way we think about nuclear weapons. Stephen Schwartz, editor of Nonproliferation Review said Wilson "is well on his way to deconstructing the most fundamental beliefs about nuclear weapons."

In part, the grant is to support Wilson's research and writing for a book entitled Without Fear: New Realism and Nuclear Weapons. In addition, Wilson's next scholarly articles will question the usefulness of killing civilians, and whether nuclear weapons have "kept us safe" for the last sixty years. Wilson will also carry on a extensive schedule of speaking engagements in the United States and abroad.

Recent invitations to speak include: Stanford University, University of Chicago, Georgetown University, Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Stimson Center, the United Nations, Los Alamos, the Naval War College, the New School, the New America Foundation and others. Wilson will be presenting at next month's Review Conference for the Nonproliferation Treaty at the United Nations in New York.

About Ward Wilson

Ward Wilson is director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project, a project of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

CNS is the largest nongovernmental organization in the United States devoted exclusively to research and training on nonproliferation issues, and strives to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by training the next generation of nonproliferation specialists and disseminating timely information and analysis.

Wilson has been published in International Security, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Nonproliferation Review, the Chicago Tribune, Dissentand elsewhere. He recently contributed a chapter entitled "Stable at Zero: Enforcing the Peace in a World Without Nuclear Weapons" to Elements of a Nuclear Disarmament Treaty, a collection of essays edited by Barry Blechman and published by the Stimson Center in Washington, DC. He writes regularly at

In 2007, Wilson published "The Winning Weapon? Rethinking Nuclear Weapons in Light of Hiroshima" in International Security, which posed a radical challenge to established thinking. According to the distinguished physicist Freeman Dyson, the article "effectively demolishes the generally-accepted myth that the atomic bombings brought World War II to an end."

In 2008, Wilson won the Doreen and Jim McElvany Nonproliferation Essay Challenge and its $10,000 cash prize for the most outstanding essay on nonproliferation. Wilson bested scholars from 11 countries and across the United States with an essay entitled "The Myth of Nuclear Deterrence." The article is a fundamental challenge to the theory of nuclear deterrence and has been called "brilliant" and "important."

Wilson is a graduate of the American University in Washington, DC with a special emphasis in history and philosophy. He is currently a departmental guest of the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University.

Kevin Ellis
Kimbell Sherman Ellis, LLP


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