Press the Button

Listen and subscribe to Press the Button, a weekly podcast from Ploughshares Fund dedicated to all things nuclear. 

An engaging and dynamic look at one of the most critical issues of our time, Press the Button offers the latest news, insider interviews and in-depth perspectives on nuclear policy and national security. Hosted by Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione, Press the Button will feature exclusive interviews with grantees, experts, former and current elected officials, and influential voices working to build a safer, more secure world.

Listen to a recent episode featuring US Senator Chris Van Hollen:

Press the Button is presented in 3 segments:

  • Early Warning — a round-up of the most pressing nuclear news in 7 minutes, roughly the same amount of time the US president has to authorize a nuclear weapons launch in the event of an incoming attack on the United States.
  • The Interview — Joe Cirincione sits down with prominent thinkers, legislators, activists, and grantees working on nuclear weapons issues for a short, illuminating conversation.
  • In the Silo — a monthly, close-up look at key nuclear issues and events around the world, utilizing field recordings, media clips, interviews, and extensive narration.

Press the Button is avaliable on 

Listen to past episodes below:

This episode is dedicated to the fast-developing twin crises in Iran and North Korea. Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman shares her thoughts on National Security Advisor John Bolton's campaign to provoke Iran. Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, joins Early Warning as a guest analyst. She is a leading expert on nuclear and missile programs in Iran. Roger L. Hale Fellow Catherine Killough discusses North Korea's most recent missile tests.

Maggie Feldman-Piltch of #NatSecGirlSquad on why diversity and inclusion are key elements of the national security and defense discussion. Development Director Elizabeth Warner takes us behind the scenes for our #NukesOfHollywood panel that included Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas, Deputy National Security Advisor for Obama Ben Rhodes, Congressman Ted Lieu, activist Yasmeen Silva and nuclear expert Kennette Benedict. Also: nuclear news analysis with Michelle Dover and Mary Kaszynski.

LobeLog article by Joe Cirincione and Mary Kaszynski:

Leah Greenberg, co-founder of Indivisible and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2019, discusses her journey from congressional staffer to community organizer. Greenberg talks about how the idea for a 2016 handbook, “Indivisible: A Practical Guide to Resisting the Trump Agenda,” ignited a progressive movement of civic engagement for everyday people. And in Early Warning: Ploughshares Fund Program Director Michelle Dover reflects on the legacy of Indiana Senator and non-proliferation champion Richard Lugar. Nuclear Field Coordinator and Senior Program Officer John Carl Baker takes a closer look at the motives and intentions of Trump’s offer for arms control talks with Russia and China.

Ned Price, former spokesperson for President Obama’s National Security Council and current Director of Communications and Policy with National Security Action is our special guest. Price sits down with host Joe Cirincione to discuss the importance of re-entering the Iran Deal, why 2020 presidential candidates should share their alternative visions on national security, and a look at President Trump’s missed opportunity at the North Korea-United States Hanoi Summit. Also: this week’s nuclear news analysis with Ploughshares Fund Deputy Director of Policy Mary Kaszynski and Nuclear Field Coordinator and Senior Program Officer John Carl Baker.

Debut episode: Host Joe Cirincione sits down for an in-depth conversation with Dr. Carol Cohn, founding director of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights. Dr. Cohn explores the distinction between gendered ideas and gendered people – and discusses how vulnerability is an inevitable part of the human condition. Our “In The Silo” segment takes you behind the scenes of the annual setting of the Doomsday Clock and shows how Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists brief leading members of congress on Capitol Hill. Plus: Early Warning – nuclear news analysis from Ploughshares Fund Program Director Michelle Dover and Roger L. Hale Fellow Catherine Killough

To stay updated on the latest episode of Press the Button and our work to build a safer, more secure world, sign up for our newsletter below.