Appalachian State University
AIP Mather Policy Intern
With all the nuclear weapons in the world, humanity is currently capable of destroying itself and all life on Earth. It is in the interest of humanity, not to mention American national security, to prevent the spread and reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world. For the first time in history, Russia has threatened the use of nuclear weapons for strategic gain. While few expect Russia to act on these threats, if Russia is successful in their campaign in Ukraine, that will indicate the viability of the “nuclear threat” strategy to other nations with border disputes throughout the world. Thus, it is more important than ever for the United States to demonstrate a dedication to nuclear non-proliferation (NNP) efforts here at home and across the world. In this talk, I will discuss the status of NNP efforts, the role of scientists in NNP discussions, and Rep. Bill Foster’s leadership on NNP as the only Ph.D. physicist in Congress.”
My name is Aidan Keaveney, and I'm a rising senior double majoring in Physics and Mathematics at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. My research interests are in experimental physics and applied mathematics. I am interested in using scientific tools to find creative solutions to challenging problems in a variety of disciplines. In the past, I've worked on research collaborations studying neutrinoless double beta decay, gravitational waves, and dark matter. I am also an avid science communicator and servant leader. I volunteer with traditional and alternative education groups in Boone to bring STEM opportunities to students who may not otherwise have them. As President of Appalachian State’s SPS Chapter, I strive to build connections between faculty, students, and community members through programming and outreach.
I am originally from Durham, North Carolina, simultaneously one of the academia and research capitals of the world and a city steeped in civil rights history. Even as I was afforded remarkable academic opportunities, it was impossible to grow up where I did without being exposed to troubling disparities in access to those opportunities. It was this dissonance that first drew me to advocacy, policy, and government. I published my first papers on inequalities in education in 2019 and 2021. This passion has only deepened while observing the changes in sociopolitical discourse in the era of social media. I believe scientists have a unique opportunity and responsibility to speak on some of the issues that most impact the collective good, be it climate change, infectious disease, energy, modern infrastructure, technology, and so on. I am so excited to join the SPS Summer Internship Program as an AIP Mather Policy Intern to explore the impact that scientists can have in these discussions.
In my spare time, I enjoy swimming, reading too many dystopian novels, and cheering for Tar Heels basketball with my two brothers, Caleb and Gabe, and parents, Eileen and David.