Congratulations to the Bulletin’s 2023 Rieser Award recipient

By Sarah Starkey | January 20, 2024

The Bulletin is delighted to announce Emily Strasser as the 2023 Leonard M. Rieser award recipient for her August 2023 piece, “My grandfather helped build the bomb. ‘Oppenheimer’ sanitized its impacts.”

“In her piece, Emily Strasser explains, with grim elegance, how the movie Oppenheimer sanitizes the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and why such vague abstraction is inappropriate to the specific, horrific slaughter wrought on those two cities,” Bulletin editor John Mecklin said. “Her powerful piece is precisely the type of well-argued, well-written, and deeply principled journalism the Rieser Award is meant to honor.”

The Rieser Award, named for former Bulletin board chair Leonard M. Rieser, is the capstone of the Bulletin’s Next Generation Program. The program was created to ensure new voices have a trusted platform to address existential challenges posed by nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies. The award includes the opportunity to speak at the Bulletin’s marquee event, Conversations Before Midnight, and a $1,000 prize.

The Bulletin is also pleased to announce an honorable mention that goes to Louis Reitmann and Sneha Nair for their essay Queering nuclear weapons: How LGBTQ+ inclusion strengthens security and reshapes disarmament.

“The authors made an exceptionally compelling and substantive case for including queer people in nuclear policy discussions,” Bulletin contributing editor Dawn Stover said. “They explained several ways in which the perspectives of queer people can make essential contributions to reducing nuclear risks and security threats.”

About the authors

Emily Strasser’s first book, Half-Life of a Secret, traces her journey to reckon with the legacy of her grandfather’s work building nuclear weapons in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, Catapult, Guernica, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, and The Bitter Southerner, among others, and she was the presenter of the 2020 BBC podcast “The Bomb.” Her work has been honored by awards and fellowships including the Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest, the W. K. Rose Fellowship, the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing, the McKnight Writing Fellowship, and grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Emily is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Louis Reitmann is a research associate at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP), focusing on export controls; nuclear disarmament; and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the nuclear field. He is a board member of the Emerging Voices Network, organized by the British American Security Information Council (BASIC). Previously, he served as an export control officer at Imperial College London and worked with the European Union’s Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation in Brussels. Louis holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Sneha Nair is a research analyst with the Nuclear Security Program and Partnerships in Proliferation Prevention Program at the Stimson Center and Coordinator for the International Nuclear Security Forum, where she focuses on nuclear security; insider threats; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear disinformation; and domestic violent extremist threats to national security and critical infrastructure. Before joining the Stimson Center, she worked at the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. She has a master’s degree in geography and international relations from the University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom.

Learn more about the Bulletin‘s Voices of Tomorrow Program here.

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