Nuclear Information Service [nuclearinfo]
Do you consider yourself a geek?
A detailed understanding of the technical issues of our work is essential, but it's also important to present complex issues in a way which everyone can understand.
In your field of work, what is the major technological trend on the horizon?
An important trend is increased interest verification of nuclear disarmament - making sure that no-one cheats after an arms control agreement has been signed. This will be a key area as the number of nuclear weapons in the world gradually decreases and approaches zero in years to come.
What factors should one keep in mind when giving advice about an investment in technology?
The benefits to yourself are usually highlighted, but the risks to others are usually ignored.
Which do you prefer: to deal with technical problems or problems with clients?
IS there a difference? We find that most of our work on technical issues is done in partnership with others. The broader the partnership, the greater the chances of getting the 'right' answer.
What do you investigate? What is at the heart of your research?
The UK nuclear weapons programme and its costs and risks, with the aim of increasing transparency and accountability.
Do you have a link to a site where we can see something about you, or the center where you work?
What kind of technology are you using for your research right now?
Internet, media, and social networks, together with Freedom of Information legislation and good old field observations!
If you conclude your investigation successfully, what practical application would it have in everyday life?
A safe and fair world where governments no longer feel the need to have nuclear weapons to maintain their security.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspects of your research?
Obstructiveness by government departments.
Is there some area of knowledge that is morally unacceptable to you?
Knowledge itself is neutral - but the use of knowledge to harm people or the environment, or trying to gain knowledge by causing harm, is unacceptable. Unfortunately, few scientists understand ethics or take a meaningful account of ethics in their work, which is why we have developed technologies which allow us to build weapons of mass destruction which can destroy the world.
How do you define your political position? What is the ideology that inspires it?
Our work is rooted in the Quaker traditions of non-violence and 'speaking truth to power'.
Are Right and Left obsolete concepts?
On the global issue of nuclear disarmament voices from across the political spectrum are uniting to say that we must take urgent action - regardless of political parties and right / left labels.
Why does hunger continue to exist in the world? Is this the result of a deliberate policy?
There is plenty of money available to feed the world. Unfortunately, we spend too much of it on weapons and war.
Does a state have the right to attack or intervene in another country that has not attacked said state, if the country has committed grave injustices or crimes against humanity?
If steps are taken early to engage with a government then it is usually possible to encourage it to accept international norms on human rights. Unfortunately powerful nations tend to ignore human rights issues until a crisis develops, and then see the use of force as the first option in solving the crisis, rather than as the last resort. Other techniques are much cheaper, safer, and more effective - such as use of conflict resolution techniques and diplomacy, and supporting democracy movements and peoples' organisations.
Do you actively or economically collaborate with any social organization, NGO, etc.?
We are a non-government organisation and we collaborate with other similar organisations as well as government agencies, businesses, and ordinary citizens.
What significant changes do you think Obama can bring about along his presidential term?
President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his arms control efforts - he needs to earn his prize by continuing to work for peace. This means withdrawing US and NATO military forces from Afghanistan, working to agreed further treaties to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, and encouraging Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to ban nuclear weapons testing.
Nuclear Information Service