Hide table of contents


  • I created a syllabus on nuclear security that can be accessed here. For more context, check out my blog post here.
  • I'm facilitating a group using the syllabus this summer and anyone is welcome and encouraged to join! This is a fun, low-commitment way to learn more about nuclear weapons-related issues and meet people with similar interests. Register here


Nuclear security is an incredibly important and neglected issue. I created a syllabus that is intended to provide an overview of the nuclear security landscape. It offers insights into the history of nuclear weapons use, the science behind the atomic bomb, the potential effects of nuclear use, nuclear weapons as an intersectional issue, and more. By the end of this course, the hope is that you have developed a deeper understanding of the complex problems that nuclear weapons pose and that you have knowledge and resources that will allow you to further engage with these issues if you so choose.

I designed the syllabus with the intention that university groups and other EA groups can use it as a resource to facilitate courses on nuclear security, but it can also be used for individual, personal learning. 

Nuclear Security Course - Summer 2023

I plan to facilitate a group using the syllabus this summer, running roughly from the end of May to the end of July. The expected time commitment is 1-2 hours of reading per week, and 1 hour of discussion on a weekly basis over Zoom. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to deepen their knowledge of issues related to nuclear weapons, and especially for those who are consdering a career path related to reducing nuclear risks. Register here




Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

Hey Maya, super excited to see more people interested in projects like this! For reference, I did this a couple months ago (https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/bTMdEfeaLbGmf9LHn/reading-group-launch-introduction-to-nuclear-issues-march) and we just had our last meeting this week, in case it helps to have another example syllabus. I notice it's very similar already! 

Here are a few takeaways from my experience:

  • Getting participation is even harder than you expect. Of the people who signed up for my course, maybe 1/4 actually came to weekly meetings. If I could try again, I would do more pointed outreach to EA organizations tangentially working in nuclear issues, fellowship groups, and university groups. 
  • Facilitation on this issue needs a lot of preparation. "What was your biggest takeaway?" turned into, more often than not, "there is no political will to do anything about this glaring risk to humanity" and it's actually really hard to turn that into a productive discussion. 
  • My weekly time commitment was too large — it's good that yours is 1-2 hours of reading and 1 hour of discussion. I started providing notes every week with key takeaways from readings to facilitate discussion in case some participants hadn't done all of the reading. 

Would be really interested in talking more about this if you're looking for someone to bounce ideas off of. 

Hey Isabel, thanks so much for all of this! I'd definitely love to chat, I'll send a private message. 

Hi! Any update on timeframes for this? E.g. when you'll start, if there's a deadline on expressing interest?

This seems cool and I was about to share the opportunity with a group of ~60 teenagers who went through some online programmes that I organised, but wasn't sure if it was still open?

(Apologies for only seeing this almost a month after you shared it.)


Hi, thanks so much for reaching out! 

The updated timeframe is that we'll meet for the first time this Sunday (May 28) and meet for the following seven Sundays from 3-4pm ET. If you think that time might work for some of the group then feel free to share the interest form with them and I will reach out! I would also consider doing another session at a different time if there's considerable interest. Hope this helps, thanks again! 

Thanks for putting this together Maya! I hope you get a good number of people taking part!!

More from Maya D
Curated and popular this week
Relevant opportunities