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Library to screen ‘Oppenheimer,’ host nuclear threat discussion


KENT—Kent residents will have a chance to explore an ominous subject in March when the Kent Memorial Library hosts two events that touch on the legacy of Robert Oppenheimer and the effort that led to the first atomic bomb.

On March 8, at 6 p.m., the library will screen “Oppenheimer,” the Oscar-nominated film about the scientific genius who led the development of the bomb. Then, on March 9, at 2 p.m., on the eve of the Oscars, the library will host a discussion of current nuclear challenges and future prospects with John A. Lauder, a leading expert on intelligence and arms control monitoring.

To register to view the film, click here.

The discussion, “The Oppenheimer Legacy: Nuclear Threats, Deterrence, and Arms Control in Today’s World,” will be presented in association with the James A Garfield Center for Public Leadership of Hiram College and will be held in the reading room at the Main Street library.

It will be moderated by Kent native and fellow Garfield scholar, Sarah A. Chase.

The movie “Oppenheimer” raises issues about the role of nuclear weapons that are still relevant nearly 80 years after the first development of these weapons of destruction and deterrence. Their relevance has been underscored by recent events such as the conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine, and renewed threats of the use of nuclear weapons by rogue actors around the world. 

A key reason for these trends is that the fabric of agreements that provided strategic stability for decades is fraying, and the future of treaties that reduced threats and provided predictability is uncertain.

Lauder is one of the founders of the James A. Garfield Center for Public Leadership at Hiram College and continues to serve as an adviser to the center. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control and an independent consultant on nonproliferation, arms control monitoring and intelligence.

He retired from the U.S. government with more than 33 years of managerial, analytical and policy experience in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and as an arms control negotiator.

Before joining the CIA, he served in the United States Army and on the staff of a Congressional committee. His last three assignments in the government were as Deputy Director of National Support at the NRO, Director of CIA’s Nonproliferation Center, and Chief of the Intelligence Community’s Arms Control Intelligence Staff.

Lauder served subsequently as a senior manager and corporate officer within Arete Associates.

He continues to be instrumental in shaping research and strategic planning in the public and private sectors, including as a member of government, academic, laboratory and nonprofit advisory panels. He has helped lead influential studies to improve intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and to facilitate verification of international agreements.

Those planning to attend should register here.

Kathryn Boughton
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