The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Dedicated Issues on Nuclear Modernization and Climate Change

Grant Information
Categories Peace , Environment
Location International
Cycle Year 2018
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Colleen Mcelligott
Phone 773.834.2308
PO 15461
1510 E 55th Street
Additional Information
Used for The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists respectfully requests $10,000 from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation to support its goals of connecting the best scientific and expert thinking on issues of nuclear risk and climate change to a growing audience eager to engage the most consequential issues facing the planet. The grant will be used to: 1. Curate and publish a feature issue on nuclear modernization in the Bulletin’s bimonthly magazine in Winter 2019. 2. Curate and publish a feature issue on the Republican’s response to climate change in Spring of 2019. 3. Support the work of the Bulletin’s Multimedia Editor.
Benefits The Bulletin benefits the public by providing reliable sources of information about the most pressing global security threats and guidance about how to respond, a service increasingly important in this era marked by disruptive and chaotic events. In a world that is becoming more connected, faster-paced, and highly mobile, the Bulletin’s online format and extensively shared online content, provides technologically and politically savvy audiences and activists with credible and reliable sources of news that will keep them informed and inspire them to engage with the issues. The Bulletin’s updated website and use of interactive features and modern graphics promote continuing increases in monthly visits, reaching a younger audience, and providing user-friendly content that, combined, help activate the public to speak out about issues facing the wellness of the world.
Proposal Description The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is providing a necessary reference point promoting the fact-based, progressive arguments that will assist engaged citizens and policy makers in determining action on the issues of climate change, nuclear risk and disruptive technology. Generous support from the Foundation in 2018 funded the Multimedia Editor’s new multimedia series, “Say What?” With this new series, the Bulletin engages experts to comment on the strange and the unexpected when it comes to policy on nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies.

To assist the Bulletin in this valuable work, continued funding from the Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation will support a 2019 winter issue dedicated to nuclear modernization and support a 2019 spring issue on the Republican’s response to climate change.

Coinciding with the start of the 116th United States Congress, these special issues will spotlight leading concerns facing lawmakers making decisions about the preservation of the planet. The Bulletin – with the special issues; a growing website and magazine audience; shared articles through partnerships with media outlets like Climate Desk and Mother Jones and Apple News; and extensive shared content through social media and mentions in the news – will be working on the forefront of insisting our lawmakers know the facts, think logically and react effectively to make life on earth better.

The Bulletin Audience:
In 2017 the Bulletin’s audience grew by 46% to nearly 2.8 million visitors (over 230,000/month), topping strong increases over the past four consecutive years. Pageviews on the Bulletin’s website rose by 52% to reach over 4.3 million in 2017. Half of the Bulletin’s audience reside outside the United States, and its bimonthly magazine can be found in about 10,000 leading universities and institutions worldwide. 53% of the visitors to the Bulletin’s website are under the age of 35. More than 2 million viewed the 2018 Doomsday Clock announcement via Facebook Live and other media outlets. This is both evidence that the Bulletin’s strategies to attract younger audiences have been successful, and a strong mandate to continue those efforts to reach new, even wider communities.

Activities Supported by Grant:

1. Curate and publish a feature issue on nuclear modernization in the Bulletin’s bimonthly magazine in Winter 2019.

The Bulletin will publish a special issue of its bimonthly journal in the winter of 2019 dedicated to nuclear modernization. Nuclear modernization is the $1.8 trillion dollar US program that not only ensures the safety, security and reliability of US nuclear weapons, but currently threatens to create an entirely new arsenal with a more robust set of missions. Leading scientists and architects of US policy from the Obama administration as well as Chinese and Russian experts will examine and frame a debate about what is necessary to keep arsenals safe, secure, and reliable in contrast to current proposals that appear to justify a wholesale replacement and upgrade program. The issue will focus, but not be limited, on US modernization, because decisions being made now will affect behavior over the next thirty years. It will also include articles on non-US modernization programs, given that every major nuclear power is “modernizing” its arsenal. The issue will help frame the debate and suggest targeted response opportunities for both experts and civic advocates. Featured writers include: Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing; Benjamin Zala, a Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center; Andy Weber and Christine Parthemore, both with the Council on Strategic Risks, and both of them formerly served in the US Defense Department focusing on nuclear weapons and countering weapons of mass destruction; Dmitri Trenin, a historian, policy analyst, and director of the Carnegie Moscow Center—a think tank and regional affiliate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and more.

2. Curate and publish a feature issue on the Republican’s response to climate change in Spring of 2019.

The White House recently approved the National Climate Assessment. The leader of the Republican Party, when asked about the report’s core findings, said, “I don’t believe it.” A divided Congress, and an executive branch seemingly opposed to fact-based science, make it imperative that the Bulletin stays on point in providing the ongoing resources to concerned citizens and policymakers confronting the challenges of correcting the course in order to limit the negative effects of climate change. The issue will feature Republican Governor and administrator of the EPA, Christine Todd Whitman, and other leading Republicans writing on personal, political and corporate responsibility and belief concerning climate change.

3. Support the work of the Multimedia Editor to create multimedia offerings for both special issues designed to attract a younger audience.

The Bulletin does more than present cutting edge analysis: it seeks to inspire both learning and action, and this requires publications that are interactive and designed to engage. To accomplish this, the Multimedia Editor will continue to populate the Bulletin's website with its well regarded content, in new, more accessible and share-friendly formats better designed to include social media. To date, new multimedia offerings have generated considerable shares and re-tweets. The Multimedia Editor will produce specific content for the special issues that is designed to attract a younger audience. This multimedia and interactive content will be vital in conveying the story, have great visual appeal and be interactive and shareable.

Highly viewed and shared content creation by the Multimedia Editor in the past year include:
• Say What?, a new Bulletin video series launched in November 2018. Each episode engages experts to comment on how science denial affects policy around nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies.
• A digitally annotated version of the letter from Donald Trump to Kim Jong Un
• Video interview with Bruce Cumings, Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift distinguished service professor in History, University of Chicago. Ahead of the momentous June 12 meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, Cumings reflects on North Korea's recent history, where past negotiations went wrong, and says the isolated nation wants the same thing it always has: a new relationship with the United States.
• Multiple videos and "audiograms" for use on social media that have increased our digital presence on social media. The work helps drive conversations on social media like Facebook and Twitter, as well as traffic directly to the website.

Voice is power. Power dictates action. The Bulletin has been a revolutionary vehicle for promoting the voices of policy change advocates fighting for an end to the continued threat of nuclear proliferation, climate change and disruptive technology.

It is through the Bulletin – and its extended reach through a variety of media outlets – that an ever-growing number of engaged citizens and policy makers find the facts and the informed response to the world’s leading issues. Change starts with information and the Bulletin provides a guide to help navigate the issues of nuclear risk, climate change and disruptive technology, and to advance a healthier and safer planet.