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Open lecture: The Dilemma of the Public Intellectual in the Nuclear Age - 8 August

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 8:17am

This lecture investigates the role and possibilities of the public intellectual in the nuclear age. It argues that in light of the current state of global nuclear vulnerability, and the ways in which the institutionalisation of nuclear weapons programs modify democratic processes and consume valuable resources, democratic publics deserve a voice that speaks for the public interest. Prof. Pelopidas will make the case above, and articulate a dilemma between insider's authority and outsider's freedom to speak that faces all those who choose to play the role of the public intellectual. Dr Burford will discuss this dilemma in the context of his experiences at UN conferences related to two international nuclear treaties - the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Associate Professor Benoit Pelopidas holds the Junior Chair of Excellence in Security Studies at the Centre for International Studies, Sciences Po, Paris. He is also an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security. He has been awarded two international prizes for his research and a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award in 2016.

Dr Lyndon Burford is a research fellow (non-resident) at the Disarmament & Security Centre, Christchurch. He served as an advisor on the New Zealand delegation to the 2015 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and recently attended the final stage of negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as a member of New Zealand civil society.

Event details:

5.30 - 7 pm, Tuesday 8 August
Archway 3 Lecture Theatre

All welcome

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