Episode 330

The Doomsday Machine

A Conversation with Carl Robichaud

August 16, 2023

Sam Harris speaks with Carl Robichaud about the ongoing threat of nuclear war. They discuss the film "Oppenheimer," the ethics of dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the false lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the history and future of nuclear proliferation, the logic of deterrence, cyber vulnerabilities, the history of de-escalation, the war in Ukraine, war games, the nuclear taboo, growing tensions between the U.S. and China, artificial intelligence, getting to nuclear zero, the role for private citizens in mitigating nuclear risk, the Longview Nuclear Risk Policy Fund (https://www.longview.org/fund/nuclear-weapons-policy-fund/), and other topics.

Carl Robichaud co-leads Longview’s program on nuclear weapons policy. For more than a decade, Carl led grantmaking in nuclear security at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a philanthropic fund which grants over $30 million annually to strengthen international peace and security. Previously, Carl worked with The Century Foundation and the Global Security Institute, where his research spanned arms control, international security policy, and nonproliferation. Robichaud holds an MPA in public policy and international affairs from Princeton University and a BA from Wesleyan University. He is a 1999 Thomas J. Watson fellow and a 2003 Harold W. Rosenthal fellow for international affairs and security at the Stimson Center and the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Elsie Kagan, a painter.

Website: https://www.longview.org/fund/nuclear-weapons-policy-fund/

Twitter: @carlrobichaud


Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it.