Perspectives on 70 Years of the Nuclear Age: From Berkeley, a Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb

Conference/Symposium: Center for Japanese Studies: Institute of East Asian Studies | September 30 | 10:45 a.m.-6:15 p.m. | Berkeley City Club, The Drawing Room

 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704

 Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), Center for Japanese Studies (CJS), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Asia Society of Northern California

Over the past seventy years, nuclear technologies have brought about both atomic weapons and new sources of electric energy, which are now woven deeply into the fabric of many advanced societies. This symposium brings together scientists, historians, and other experts to share their views on past, present and future in an open, cross-disciplinary exchange. Presentations will start from the political and scientific history of the nuclear industry in Japan and the US and how it influenced the ethical and scientific challenges we face today.

The clash between nuclear and non-nuclear countries, between proponents and opponents, grows greater every day. Japan is a fulcrum for passionate debate on the future, even as many new nations are considering adopting nuclear power and nuclear weapons. This symposium offers a valuable opportunity to consider the weighty philosophical and pragmatic concerns that are revealed by close study of the nuclear industry, bringing together experts from the two nations that together directly witnessed the birth of atomic energy.
(Photo Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

*This conference will span two days, September 30-October 1. Please click here for more information about October 1.

[Conference Schedule]


Opening session: Greetings (10:45 - 11:00 am)

Prof. Dana Buntrock, Center for Japanese Studies Chair
Prof. Masayuki Izutsu, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Prof. Joonhong Ahn, Conference Organizer

Session 1: Before Hiroshima and Nagasaki (11:00 am - 1:00 pm)
Moderated by Prof. Dana Buntrock (Department of Architecture, UCB)
Prof. Cathryn Carson (Department of History, UCB)
"Science, Politics, and Ethical Choices: Berkeley and the Opening of the Nuclear Era"
Prof. Atsushi Moriyama (University of Shizuoka)
"Why Japan Decided to Enter the War with U.S.: From the Perspective of Japan's Decision-making Process"

Break (1:00 - 2:00 pm)

Session 2: Impacts on Political Powers (2:00 - 4:00 pm)

Moderated by Prof. Steven Vogel (Department of Political Science, UCB)
Prof. Jacques Hymans 
 (University of Southern California)
“70 Years after: Explaining Nuclear War and Nuclear Peace”
Dr. Masakatsu Ota (Kyodo News)
"The Japanese Nuclear Enigma — The Secret Nuclear Pact with the U.S. and the Nuclear Shadow She Has Feared"

Break (4:00 - 4:15pm)

Session 3: Nuclear Technologies (4:15 – 6:15 pm)

Moderated by Prof. Per Peterson (Department of Nuclear Engineering, UCB)
Dr. Jay Davis (The Hertz Foundation)
"The Utility of Technology in Reducing the Nuclear Threat "
Prof. Atsuyuki Suzuki (Emeritus, The University of Tokyo)
"Nuclear Power Development in Japan"


Session 4: Impacts on Humans (10:00 am - 12:20 pm)

Moderated by Prof. Kai Vetter (Department of Nuclear Engineering, UCB)
Prof. Naoko Wake (Michigan State University)
"Americans Survive the Bomb in Japan: Nuclear Destruction's Ground Zero, 1945 and Beyond"
Prof. David Hoel (Medical University of South Carolina)
"Impacts of the Atomic Bombings on Humans: What Do We Know after 70 Years?"
Dr. Sylvain Costes (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
"The DOE Low Dose Program at the Berkeley Laboratory: Where We Are and Future Directions"

Break (12:20 - 1:15 pm)

Session 5: Toward a Nuclear-free world (1:15 - 3:15 pm)

Moderated by Prof. Ron Gronsky (Emeritus, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UCB)
Prof. Tatsujiro Suzuki (Director, RECNA, Nagasaki University; former AEC commissioner)
"Role of Japan toward a Nuclear-free World"
Dr. Kennette Benedict (Director and publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, retired)
"Doomsday Clockwork: Toward a Nuclear Weapons Free World"

Break (3:15 - 3:30pm)

Session 6: Panel discussion among speakers (3:30 - 5:30 pm)

Moderated by Martin Fackler (Journalist-in-Residence, the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation in Tokyo)

Closing Session (5:30 - 6:00 pm), 510-642-3415