Webinar: The Life and Work of John Ainslie

The webinar took place on 9 November 2022 and is available to watch on our You Tube channel

John Ainslie (1954-2016)

‘The Sword of Damocles’ was the website of the late nuclear weapons researcher and activist, John Ainslie, where he published a great many years of meticulous nuclear weapons research and influential reports for the benefit of disarmament campaigners and researchers. This event is an opportunity for those who worked with John or used his research and reports to reflect on his contributions to the peace movement and the continuing value of his work today.

Speakers will discuss John’s work on Trident and Scotland, the US-UK relationship, UK nuclear war plans and targeting of Russia as well as memories of John by people who knew him well. The online event will be chaired by Trish Whitham, Co-ordinator at Nuclear Information Service and there will be opportunities for participants to share their own reflections.

Nuclear Information Service is in the process of publishing the Ainslie Archive – now available as a work-in-progress with over 1000 documents.


Speaker Biographies

Janet Fenton

Janet Fenton worked closely with John Ainslie over many years, she is currently Secretary of the Scottish Parliament Disarmament Cross Party Group; Organiser of Secure Scotland Core Group and Vice Chair of Scottish CND. She is a Scottish Quaker, eco-feminist community arts/development practioner and is currently working with the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy and Peace & Justice Scotland and has been active in International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) since its inception, serving on its International Steering Group and is a co-founder of Secure Scotland and member of Trident Ploughshares.

Rob Edwards has been a freelance environmental journalist and nuclear muckraker for more than 40 years. He has written for New Scientist, the Guardian, Scotland on Sunday, the Sunday Herald and many others. He is now a journalist with The Ferret, an award-winning platform for investigative journalism in Scotland. He misses John Ainslie.

Tom Unterrainer is Chair of The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and a director of The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation which intends to re-publish some of John Ainslie’s most important works early next year.

Dr Tim Street is a board member at Nuclear Information Service and Secretary of British Pugwash. He has been working on peace and disarmament issues since 2005 and has been closely involved with the digitising and publishing of John Ainslie’s research archives which are now available in the NIS website library. He has also worked with Campaign Against Arms Trade, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, British American Security Information Council, Oxford Research Group, Conscience, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and Drone Wars UK.

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