UBC students share their public education campaign with international scientists and educators
#BanTheBomb brings nuclear politics and science to the public, particularly young people. The goal? To inspire them to demand the end of all nuclear weapons testing. By taking an active role on social media and providing free, interactive online educational tools, the #BanTheBomb team hopes to make learning about nuclear topics accessible and fun.
The campaign was created by three international relations students, Sebastian Cooper, Hayley Gendron and Bridgitte Taylor. Engineering student Canute (Paul) Pereira also joined the team to help make creative concepts accessible online. The three founders came together in a unique UBC course, Living With Nuclear Weapons? Arms Control and Verification Technologies, designed to introduce students to both the politics and the science of nuclear disarmerment. Team-taught by Professor Allen Sens from the Political Science Department and Professor Matt Yedlin of ECE, the course presents the history and challenges of The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the chief United Nations treaty that addresses nuclear testing.
Dr. Yedlin was impressed by the students’ dedication and outstanding work, “With the #BantheBomb Campaign our students have demonstrated a very strong committment to improving the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, with the view to exert social pressure for signature and ratification by all countries.
The founders of #BanTheBomb were invited to speak to delegates attending the CTBT Academic Forum in Vienna about their Campaign. Held on the final day of the CTBT conference, the Academic Forum identified ways to integrate Treaty-related topics into existing policy or science-based academic curricula and to develop educational resources to further this objective. Profs. Yedlin and Sens spoke to CTBT Academic Forum about their Experiences of teaching the CTBT. Prof. Yedlin also was a panelist on Technical education for policymakers and policy education for scientists.
The CTBT conference provides a forum for scientists from around the world to exchange knowledge and share advances in monitoring and verification technologies of relevance to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Such interaction helps ensure that the Treaty’s global verification regimeremains at the forefront of scientific and technical innovation. The 2015 CTBT Academic Forum was a results-oriented, interactive event for academics already engaged in, or interested in, CTBT education aiming to identify ways to integrate Treaty-related topics into existing policy or science-based academic curricula and to develop educational resources to further this objective.
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Professor Allen Sens with #BanTheBomb co-founders Sebastian Cooper, Hayley Gendron and Bridgitte Taylor .