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Kennette Benedict

Kennette Benedict

Executive Director and Publisher

Articles by Kennette Benedict

10 June 2013

Pandora's false promise

Kennette Benedict

A new documentary that cheers for nuclear energy is simplistic and misleading.

9 April 2013

Science, art, and the legacy of Martyl

Kennette Benedict

Martyl Langsdorf, the artist who created the Doomsday Clock, died on March 26th at the age of 96 in Chicago. Known to many friends and fans simply as Martyl, she was a petite and vivacious woman who had an outsize influence on public consciousness about nuclear weapons through her design of the clock that first graced the cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947, and continues to be used today.

13 February 2013

Citizen cybersecurity

Kennette Benedict

With increasing reports of cyber attacks on US banks, oil facilities, power plants, and even military systems, it comes as good news that the Obama administration is crafting policy on cybersecurity. In Tuesday's State of the Union address, the President said that "America must … face the rapidly growing threat from cyber attacks," and urged Congress to pass legislation that would help it do so.

15 November 2012

Democracy and the bomb

Kennette Benedict

In a democracy, there is no greater responsibility than voting for our government representatives. Whether choosing a state legislator, mayor, congressional representative, or president, selecting among candidates and sending them off to formulate and enact laws on our behalf is the single most important duty of a citizen. And many of us Americans exercised that right in last Tuesday's national elections. Many also canvassed communities, talked to neighbors, called strangers, got out the vote, and volunteered at polls on Election Day.

20 September 2012

Buying climate stability

Kennette Benedict

In the August issue of Rolling Stone ("Global Warming's Terrifying New Math"), Bill McKibben provides clarity about the amount of carbon dioxide in the coal, oil, and gas reserves currently owned by companies and countries worldwide. The key number is the 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide that will be emitted by burning these existing reserves over the next decades.

9 August 2012

Civil disobedience

Kennette Benedict

It was the 82-year-old nun who caught my attention. In the early morning hours of July 28, Sister Megan Rice, Michael R. Walli, and Greg Boertje-Obed of the peace group Plowshares cut through fences at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

16 July 2012

Mind the gaps between climate science and social policy

Kennette Benedict

With temperatures topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit this month in Chicago, thoughts turn to global warming. Whether any particular extreme weather event could be a symptom of climate change is difficult to say. Even higher-than-normal regional temperature patterns may not be direct evidence of the planet's warming overall. Climate models cannot forecast changes in temperature or rainfall at local levels.

15 June 2012

Stuxnet and the Bomb

Kennette Benedict

With confirmation that the United States was behind the 2010 cyberattack on Iran's nuclear enrichment facility, the world has officially entered a new era of warfare. The New York Times' comprehensive reporting details how the US and Israeli governments developed the malicious Stuxnet software and how they deployed it in the digital wilderness of the Internet specifically to attack the plant at Natanz.

9 May 2012

Dream deterred

Kennette Benedict

The dream of a shield against nuclear bombs has been around since the earliest days of the nuclear age. The idea has always been deceptively simple: Build missiles that can shoot down nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles as they come across the ocean from the Soviet Union toward the United States (or vice-versa). Although this would be the equivalent of trying to hit a bullet with a bullet or an arrow with an arrow, there have always been political and military leaders who feel sure it can be done.

29 March 2012

Nuclear security begins at home

Kennette Benedict

Everyone seems to be talking about Iran these days. Foreign affairs watchers, policy makers, and Middle East experts are all speculating about when Iran will get a nuclear bomb, about what the United States should do to stop Iran, about what the United States should and should not tolerate from Iran, and about how neighboring countries will act if Iran does succeed in making a nuclear weapon. These issues have been disputed for more than 30 years -- and regularly covered in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

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