Skip to main content
Support
Event

Political Fallout: Nuclear Weapons Testing and the Making of a Global Environmental Crisis

The Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 is typically viewed as marking a first step toward nuclear arms control. But Toshihiro Higuchi argues that it was also one of the first international agreements that addressed a truly global, human-induced environmental problem. By tracing a worldwide struggle to determine the biological effects, social acceptability, and policy implications of radioactive fallout, Higuchi reexamines the Cold War in the context of the Anthropocene - an era in which humans are confronting environmental changes of their own making.

Date & Time

Monday
Dec. 21, 2020
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

Zoom Webinar

Overview

The Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 is typically viewed as marking a first step toward nuclear arms control. But Toshihiro Higuchi argues that it was also one of the first international agreements that addressed a truly global, human-induced environmental problem. By tracing a worldwide struggle to determine the biological effects, social acceptability, and policy implications of radioactive fallout, Higuchi reexamines the Cold War in the context of the Anthropocene - an era in which humans are confronting environmental changes of their own making.

Toshihiro Higuchi is Assistant Professor of History at Georgetown University. He studies the international history of the nuclear age with a focus on its scientific, technological, and environmental aspects. He received a PhD at Georgetown in 2011. His publications include “Radiation Protection by Numbers: Another ‘Man-Made Disaster’,” in Learning from Fukushima, ed. Edward Blandford and Scott Sagan (2016) and a prize-winning article, “An Environmental Origin of Antinuclear Activism in Japan, 1954-1963,” Peace & Change (2008).

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.


Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

Nuclear Proliferation International History Project

The Nuclear Proliferation International History Project is a global network of individuals and institutions engaged in the study of international nuclear history through archival documents, oral history interviews, and other empirical sources. At the Wilson Center, it is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

Event Feedback