Cover Photo: A black and white photograph of a desert containing many round, deep craters from nuclear weapons testing.
Photograph by Emmet Gowin via Princeton University Press

Studying Nuclear Policy Without Being Engulfed By Fear

Like most people born just as the Cold War was ending, I learned about nuclear weapons in the past tense.


Have you seen a bomb before? Can a nuclear war happen today? Would we survive it? What, exactly, should we do?

The more skilled I became in my field, the wider the gulf seemed between global affairs and the real world.

Lovely Umayam is a nuclear nonproliferation expert, writer, and founder of Bombshelltoe Policy x Arts Collective (, which convenes policy experts, scientists, artists, and artists to examine how nuclear issues intersect with social justice.