ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Scientists, Nuclear Weapons, and the Peace Movement

The greatest challenge any scientist interested in advancing nuclear disarmament in south Asia is to sensitise the public at large to nuclear perils. Technically trained people are especially crucial in spreading such awareness because within the existing structures of society, professional credentials largely determine how a person's opinion is perceived and received. Flashing professional credentials is a double-edged sword. The establishment can and does field large numbers of scientists to support their policies. Their prominence is why many people believe in profoundly wrong ideas about nuclear issues at times. Some examples of such mistaken ideas are nuclear weapons preserve peace and nuclear reactors generate cheap electricity. Many of these claims have been disproved by other scientists. But because scientists from powerful institutions like the DAE have much greater access to the media and are sometimes the only scientists that most people ever hear about, anti-establishment scientists face an uphill battle. One way to fight this unequal battle is for scientists to not limit themselves to nuclear weapons issues but also challenge the power of the establishment that manufactures and peddles these weapons in a variety of ways, including on ethical, moral, economic, environmental, and public health grounds.

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