Dr  Strangelove

Cinema Arts Centre Huntington, NY


Susan Pepper

Chair of the Nonproliferation & National Security Department (NNS), Brookhaven National Laboratory

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb— Nuclear brinksmanship

At a moment when the US and Russia are once again engaging in nuclear brinksmanship, the number of nations with nuclear weapons is growing, and arms control treaties are becoming an endangered species, Kubrick’s brilliant. hilarious political satire remains as relevant as when it first premiered in 1964. Scientist Susan Pepper from Brookhaven National Laboratory joins us for an entertaining and exciting evening exploring Stanley Kubrick’s classic comedy as well as the timely issues it raises.

Cinema Arts Centre Huntington, NY

Film Synopsis

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

Loaded with thermonuclear weapons, a US bomber piloted by Major T. J. "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) is on a routine flight pattern near the Soviet Union when he receives orders to commence Wing Attack Plan R, best summarized by Major Kong as "Nuclear combat! Toe to toe with the Russkies!" On the ground at Burpelson Air Force Base, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) notices nothing on the news about America being at war. He soon discovers that the order was given by the insane General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden), who believes that fluoridation of the American water supply is a Soviet plot to poison the US populace. Meanwhile, President Merkin Muffley (also Sellers) meets with his top Pentagon advisors, including super-hawk General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott), who sees this as an opportunity to do something about Communism in general and Russians in particular. However, the ante is upped considerably when Soviet ambassador Alexi de Sadesky (Peter Bull) informs Muffley and his staff of the latest innovation in Soviet weapons technology: a "Doomsday Machine" that will destroy the entire world if the Russians are attacked. This acclaimed political satire black comedy from director, producer, and co-writer Stanley Kubrick was nominated for four Academy Awards.

About the Speaker

Susan Pepper is the Chair of the Nonproliferation & National Security Department (NNS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. NNS carries out research and development of radiation detectors, provides technical support and training to international organizations and other countries, builds prototype detection systems, and provides expert radiological assistance to further U.S. government initiatives and policies in nuclear materials safeguards and security, arms control treaty verification, and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Pepper has worked at BNL for almost 40 years, having started as an intern and joining the staff as a staff engineer in the Department of Nuclear Energy. She joined the International Safeguards Project Office (ISPO) at BNL in 1993 and soon after, took an assignment in Vienna, Austria, as the ISPO Liaison Officer to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Department of Safeguards. When she returned to Brookhaven, she became the head of ISPO, a position she held for more than a decade. In this capacity, Pepper worked extensively with the IAEA to provide its Department of Safeguards with the tools it needs to track nuclear material effectively and efficiently under the terms of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. She created an internship program in the IAEA Department of Safeguards to recruit students and recent graduates for temporary positions where they could work side by side with more senior staff and gain valuable experience. Her work in recent years has been primarily focused on the management of the department and increasing awareness of career opportunities in the field of international safeguards and helping to build the next generation of safeguards experts.