Continuing and Professional Education
Photograph of the Baker Explosion, part of Operation Crossroads, a US Army nuclear test at Bikini Atoll, Micronesia, on July 25, 1946.

Nuclear Conflict–The Growing Threat and a Call to Action

Monday, October 12, 1:30–3:30 p.m. PST
with two-time Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Ira Helfand

Nuclear Conflict–The Growing Threat and a Call to Action

Monday, October 12, 1:30–3:30 p.m. PST with two-time Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Ira Helfand

This presentation is free and open to the public. Limited seats are available; registration is required. Please note: the Zoom webinar link will be sent out the morning of the lecture (October 12), so please be sure to register to get on to our email list.

We have the splendid opportunity to hear a live talk from Dr. Ira Helfand, a two-time Nobel Peace Laureate (in 1985 on behalf of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and in 2017 on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons).

Former Defense Secretary William Perry says that we are closer to nuclear war than we were during the Cold War. The scientific and medical community predict that even a very limited nuclear war that involves less than 1% of the world’s nuclear arsenals would cause enough climate disruption to trigger a global famine, putting 2 billion people at risk of starvation. There is growing international movement to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons through the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. "Back from the Brink," a US organization, works to bring about fundamental change in U.S. nuclear policy and encourage the effort for a verifiable, enforceable, timebound agreement to dismantle the remaining 14,000 nuclear weapons around the world.

About the Presenter

Ira Helfand, MD, is a member of the International Steering Group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapon, ICAN, the recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, and co-President of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the founding partner of ICAN and itself the recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. He is also co-Founder and Past President of Physicians for Social Responsibility, IPPNW’s US affiliate.

He represented ICAN at the Oslo and Nayarit Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear War, and in September of 2015, he addressed a special session of the United Nations General Assembly. In May of 2016, he led the session on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war at the United Nations Open Ended Working Group meeting in Geneva that led to the successful negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in the summer of 2017, and on September 20 of 2017, he represented IPPNW at the signing ceremony for the Treaty.

Dr. Helfand co-authored PSR’s report, Nuclear Famine: 2 Billion at Risk?, which outlines the global health consequences of regional nuclear war. He was a leading medical voice in ICAN’s campaign for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. He has published studies on the medical consequences of nuclear war in the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, the Lancet and the World Medical Journal, and has lectured widely in the United States, and in India, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Israel, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, and throughout Europe on the health effects of nuclear weapons. He represented PSR and IPPNW at the Nobel ceremonies in Oslo in December 2009, honoring President Obama, and presented their new report, Nuclear Famine: One Billion People at Risk, at the Nobel Peace Laureates Summit in Chicago in April of 2012. A second edition was released in December of 2013. Dr. Helfand was educated at Harvard College and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is a former chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine and President of the Medical Staff at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and currently practices as an internist and urgent care physician at Family Care Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

He is the recipient of the 1997-1998 Will L. Judy Award, the 2003 O’Dwyer Award, the 2003 John Phillips Award, the 2016 Verdoorn Prize, the 2017 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award, and the 2017 Edward Barsky Award of the American Public Health Association.

He lives with his wife, Deborah Smith, a medical oncologist, in Leeds, Massachusetts.