Call for Presentations: Technology & Peace Conference (SYP UK)

  • SYP UK Annual Conference // 12th February 2022 // University of Leicester
  • Call for Presentations (pdf) – here

 

Students at SYP conferenceStudent / Young Pugwash (SYP) is a network of students, researchers and younger people interested in a wide range of peace and security issues. 

We are the youth wing of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, founded in 1957 by Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Joseph Rotblat and other prominent scientists and public figures. 

Our annual conference is an opportunity for younger people to share their ideas and research from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. This year’s conference will focus on the relationship between technology and international peace and security, with special focuses on nuclear weapons and digital warfare. We hope this conference will map out the risks of new weapons technologies, as well as highlight opportunities for arms control and peace-making. 

Conference attendees will be a mix of established experts from the Pugwash community (eg. diplomats, scientists, academics, campaigners) and students / young researchers. 

We are very pleased to partner with and co-host the conference with University of Leicester’s Third Nuclear Age project (here). 

For examples of our past conferences, visit: https://tinyurl.com/rjrjcyh7 

Topics 

The opening panel at the conference will cover the current state of international relations and consider what peace in the 21st century might look like. This will set the context for the afternoon workshops, led by students and young researchers, on emerging issues in weapons technology. 

Afternoon workshops will be divided into ‘streams’ – one exploring the ‘Third Nuclear Age’, one on the role of digital technologies in war, and the third on recent, significant changes to UK defence and arms policies. 

Stream 1: Third Nuclear Age: The University of Leicester’s Third Nuclear Age project seeks to map out a major transformation happening in the nuclear weapons space, in which new non-nuclear technologies interact with traditional nuclear weapons practices and policies. We welcome any presentations on this theme. Examples of topics could include: the cyber-nuclear nexus; the spread of missile defence; the nuclear information  space; the future of proliferation; technology-enhanced arms control; non-nuclear deterrence strategies; and the possibility of accidental warfare. 

Stream 2: Digital technologies in war: This stream will look at trends in and challenges posed by digital warfighting technologies. Examples of topics could include: the role of digital in disinformation / information warfare; the prevalence of large-scale hacking / malware attacks; the changing nature of the battlefield; efforts to control Lethal Autonomous Weapons; and the social responsibility of scientists and engineers in the 21st century. 

Stream 3: Changing UK policy: The Johnson government have initiated a number of significant changes to UK nuclear and defence policies. These include a 40% increase in nuclear warhead numbers, a controversial trilateral security pact with Australia and USA (‘AUKUS’), a new UK Space Command, and have begun incorporating climate change into security doctrines. We welcome any presentations that could help us understand the implications of these changes and any ideas for alternatives (eg. how might other parties / future governments respond). We also welcome presentations on other relevant UK institutions (eg. higher education, industry changes etc.) 

The above examples are not comprehensive – feel free to submit presentations proposals on different topics within the thematic ‘streams’. 

Practicalities 

Presentation proposals should be no longer than 400 words and should include the following:  

1. Your name, organisation / university affiliation, position / educational level, and your discipline (eg. what you study). 

2. The notional title of your presentation. 

3. A summary of your presentation, including its contextual background. 

4. Specific policy or other recommendations, for government, international organisations or civil society, are encouraged. 

Please submit your proposal to SYP UK Coordinator Andrew Gibson via syp@britishpugwash.org by 10th December 2021. 

If accepted, we ask that you present for 5 – 15 minutes (followed by questions) at the conference. We would also like to include a short summary in the conference proceedings, which will be shared among British Pugwash’s membership, with international partners and on our website. 

The working groups will be chaired by senior members of British Pugwash, from the worlds of diplomacy, academia and science.