An engaging podcast on nuclear policy and national security, Press the Button is co-hosted by defense experts Michelle Dover and Tom Collina of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. This weekly podcast features top officials and experts discussing the latest developments on Iran, North Korea, nuclear weapons, military budgets and foreign policy. Press the Button offers diverse views on one of the most important issues of our time: preventing nuclear war. Have a question about nuclear issues that you’d like to hear answered on the podcast? Email us at [email protected]
A Nun's Legacy
27:20It’s story time on this week’s episode of Press the Button. Co-host Michelle Dover is joined by Emmy award-winning journalist Helen Young, who discusses her fascinating new film “The Nuns, The Priests, and The Bombs.” Their conversation follows a community of nuclear disarmament activists, which include two pacifist Catholic nuns, who risk imprisonment and even death in their effort to raise public awareness of the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
Why is China Expanding Their Nuclear Arsenal?
36:29What is motivating China’s nuclear expansion? That’s the question co-host Tom Collina and Tong Zhao, senior fellow at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, explore in this week’s episode. On Early Warning, co-host Michelle Dover is joined by two guests: Anuradha Damale, member of the Verification and Monitoring team at VERTIC, and Polina Sinovets, Head of the Odessa Center for Nonproliferation. They take a look at the recent Russian anti-missile test and its consequences.
The Missing Context
34:48Terrell Jermaine Starr, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, joins co-host Michelle Dover to put nuclear security in context. In covering topics ranging from Iran to new hypersonic missile development, Starr discusses the importance of a grassroots movement that pushes for the elimination of the nuclear arsenal. Meanwhile on Early Warning, Jessica Sleight, Program Director at Global Zero, checks in on the upcoming Nuclear Posture Review with co-host Tom Collina.
Glitches in the Nuclear System
42:15Ivory towers come crashing down in co-host Michelle Dover’s conversation with Dr. Katlyn Turner, a research scientist at MIT Media Lab. Turner joins this week’s episode of Press the Button to discuss the accountability, investment, and equity practices that can be put into action to create much-needed transformational changes in the nuclear policy field. On Early Warning, US-China nuclear tensions take the spotlight. Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at The Federation of American Scientists, discusses China’s growing nuclear arsenal with co-host Tom Collina and shares some insight on what that means for the future of US nuclear policy.
The White House’s Jon Finer on All Things Nuclear
25:43Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer in discussion with Ploughshares Fund President Emma Belcher. They cover topics ranging from the Iran nuclear deal to President Biden’s upcoming Nuclear Posture Review, as well as the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine deal. On Early Warning: Ploughshares Fund Senior Program Officer Cara Marie Wagner shares details on an exciting new request for proposals and opportunities to fund new projects.
Biden's Nuclear Priorities
39:30Chairman Adam Smith of the House Armed Services Committee discusses opportunities President Biden has with the Nuclear Posture Review – working with Russia to reduce the arsenal, getting back to the Iran deal and avoiding nuclear war. Congressman Smith also shares insights on how next year's budget process will drive some of the biggest decisions on nuclear monetization. Extended Early Warning: An in-depth nuclear policy discussion with Dr. Jane Vaynman, Jon Wolfsthal and Lilly Adams.
Tested by Crisis
36:52Mackenzie Cater and Jack Brosnan of the Nuclear Threat Initiative share insights on a new survey that the Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy project conducted about the impacts of COVID-19 on the nuclear policy field. On Early Warning: Zia Mian, physicist and co-director of Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security, helps us understand the complicated legacy of the late Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is regarded as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb. Final Warning: Press the Button Live is on Thursday, October 21.
Join Press the Button LIVE: Thursday October 21!
3:20Join us for Press the Button LIVE: Nuclear Policy in the Biden Administration and Beyond. Thursday, October 21, 11am-1pm PT / 1-3pm CT / 2-4pm ET – LIVE ON ZOOM. Featured speakers include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Chairman Adam Smith of the House Armed Services Committee; Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17). Ploughshares Fund President Emma Belcher featured interview with Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer. On Early Warning with Tom Collina: Lilly Adams, Ben Rhodes, Dr. Jane Vaynman, Jon Wolfsthal. “Out of the Silo,” with Michelle Dover include panelists Joan Rohlfing and Dr. Katlyn Turner. Register at ploughshares.org
35:54London-based Sahil Shah, a policy fellow at the European Leadership Network, discusses with Michelle Dover all things nuclear coming from a transatlantic perspective. They cover the recent US-Russian dialogue, what that means for the New START Treaty and the prospects for the JCPOA and Europe's role in those discussions. On Early Warning: Sina Toossi of the National Iranian American Council discusses with Tom Collina how Iranians have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and how the Biden administration can help with a pledge to vaccinate people in Iran and around the world.
29:45Shannon Bugos at the Arms Control Association is co-author of a new report called “The Allure and Risks of Hypersonic Weapons.” She goes in depth with Michelle Dover on the state of development for hypersonic missiles around the world and what we can do to reduce these threats. On Early Warning: Colleen Moore of Women Cross DMZ discusses North Korea’s recent missile tests, prospects for US-North Korean talks and what the renewed travel ban means for families.