It is fair to say that, during the presidential campaign just ended, Donald Trump did not always allow himself to be bounded by facts, science, and expertise. Questions about his positions on major global threats—including nuclear weapons and climate change, a scientific reality that he has called a hoax—abound, because those positions shifted shape through time, and according to the audience being addressed and the state of the presidential campaign. In one debate, Trump appeared to support and then oppose a change in US nuclear doctrine regarding first use of nuclear weapons—in the space of three sentences. Earlier in the campaign, he spoke in a way that suggested he did not know what the nuclear triad was.
Because of the uncertainty about the president-elect's knowledge base and openness to advice, I have asked top experts on nuclear weapons, climate change, and other existential threats to humanity to comment on how they think the expert community can best respond to Trump's election. That is: How can people with true expertise in major global threats be of most use in the coming four years in persuading and helping the Trump administration to take actions that protect humanity in the long-term?
The Bulletin will publish the experts' specific answers to that general question in coming weeks. I think— and hope—they can be of real use, inside and outside the new administration, during these unprecedented times.
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