Op-ed: American students aren’t taught nuclear weapons policy in school. Here’s how to fix that problem.

Programs Assistant Erin Connolly co-wrote an op-ed in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist with former Scoville Fellow Kate Hewitt about their mission to educate high school students about nuclear weapons policy.

“How many countries have nuclear weapons?” we asked. Students shouted out answers: one, seven, 34, all of the countries in the world.

“Which countries have nuclear weapons?” We heard responses that included the United States, Japan, Iran, Turkey, Germany, Syria, Costa Rica, Canada, Iraq, Italy, South Korea, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates — along with Islam and Africa, which are not countries.

We expected students in colleges and high schools near Manhattan Project sites to have some foundational knowledge of nuclear weapons, their history, and current issues. We were wrong. Read more