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2012 FAS Symposium and Awards Ceremony 

Preventing Catastrophic Threats

Recommendations to Prevent Catastrophic ThreatsPolicy recommendations made by the panelists at the 2012 FAS Symposium on Catastrophic Threats have been compiled into a report that can be read online. Read the report (PDF).

Only three days after the national election, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) is hosting a day-long symposium that features distinguished speakers who will present recommendations to the new administration on how to respond to catastrophic threats to national security. Distinguished experts will address the policy and technological aspects of conventional, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, biotechnology, nuclear safety, electricity generation, distribution, and storage, and cyber security. At the symposium, these experts will present their recommendations for preventing and reducing risks from catastrophic threats, and for developing an effective energy policy.

2012 FAS Symposium and Awards Ceremony

Friday, November 9, 2012
9:30 am - 5:30 pm (reception to follow)

National Press Club Ballroom
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20045

Alsop Louie Management LLC
BP America
The Federation of Electric Power
Companies of Japan
Fairview Builders LLC
Power Plus Cleaning Solutions
Arizona State University
Origins Project 
Global Cool Cities Alliance
Rodney W. Nichols

The event will also feature an awards ceremony luncheon to recognize outstanding people who have made a distinctive contribution to national security. Dr. John Ahearne will be honored with the 2012 Richard L. Garwin Award, Dr. Sidney Drell will receive the 2012 Public Service Award, and Dr. Rosa Ovshinsky will accept the 2012 Hans Bethe Award on behalf of the late Mr. Stanford Ovshinsky. Dr. Drell will share the honor of the Public Service Award with Dr. Henry Kissinger, Senator Sam Nunn, Dr. William J. Perry, and Mr. George P. Shultz.


How do we educate and engage policy makers and the public about nuclear security and arms control issues? Be part of the conversation and the solution!

Press: To interview FAS President Charles D. Ferguson, please contact Monica Amarelo at 202-454-4680 or [email protected].


John Ahearne
Duke University
Kennette Benedict
Bulletin of Atomic

 blair Charles Blair
Federation of American Scientists

   drellSidney Drell
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

David Franz
Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs
Charles D. Ferguson
Federation of American Scientists
Richard L. Garwin
Steve Koonin
New York University's Center for Urban Science and Progress
Hans Kristensen
Federation of American Scientists
Robert Standish Norris
Federation of American Scientists
Matt Schroeder
Federation of American Scientists
Marina Abrams
Global Green USA  


Siobhan Gorman
 Wall Street Journal
David Hoffman
Washington Post/Foreign Policy
Miles O'Brien
PBS NewsHour

Master of Ceremonies

Joseph Cirincione
Ploughshares Fund


Register here for the FAS Symposium on Preventing Catastrophic Threats and the 2012 FAS Awards.

Contact Katie Colten with questions at [email protected] or 202-454-4694.

Space is limited. Please RSVP by November 2, 2012. 


Click a speaker's name to view his or her presentation slides, if available.

9:00 a.m.     Coffee, Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:30 a.m.      Nuclear Weapons Panel

MODERATOR: Mr. David Hoffman, Contributing Editor,Washington Post

11:30 a.m.     Break

12:00 p.m.   FAS Awards Luncheon

Master of Ceremonies: Mr. Joe Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund

  • Dr. John Ahearne, Richard L. Garwin Award
  • Dr. Rosa Ovshinsky, accepting Hans Bethe Award on behalf of Dr. Stanford Ovshinsky
  • Dr. Sidney Drell, FAS Public Service Award

2:00 p.m.     Biological, Chemical, Conventional and Cyber Threats Panel

MODERATOR: Ms. Siobhan Gorman, Intelligence Reporter, Wall Street Journal

3:30 p.m.      Break

3:45 p.m.      Energy and Infrastructure Panel

MODERATOR: Mr. Miles O’Brien, Science Correspondent, PBS Newshour

  • Dr. John Ahearne, Former NRC Commissioner, Adjunct Scholar for Resources for the Future and Adjunct Professor of Engineering at Duke University
  • Dr. Steve Koonin, Former Undersecretary for Science and Technology, Department of Energy, Director of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress
  • Dr. Charles Ferguson, President, Federation of American Scientists

5:30 p.m.      Symposium Concludes

6:00-7:30 p.m.       Reception

View the transcript of Senator Nunn's remarks here (PDF).

The transcript of Dr. Drell's remarks can be found here (PDF).

FAS promotes a safer and more secure world by advancing solutions to important science and technology policy problems by educating the public and policy makers, and promoting transparency through research and analysis to maximize the impact on policy.

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