Skip to content

IQ2 Debates: Australia Should Embrace Nuclear Power


Event Status

The godfather of the climate change debate, Dr James Hansen, is coming from the United States to debate this vital issue of the use of nuclear energy as an alternative to the use of fossil fuels.

Joining him, for the affirmative, will be Dr Ziggy Switkowski, outspoken advocate of nuclear power and Dr Erica Smyth.

The negative will consist of Molly Harriss Olson, former Presidential advisor to President Clinton on energy, Dr Mark Diesendorf, world renowned writer on climate change and Dr Jim Green.

In the wake of grave scientific warnings about the role of carbon emissions in climate change, prominent environmental scientists like James Lovelock have called for the world to employ nuclear energy as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Yet, Lovelock’s call has divided the environmental movement – and sections of the wider community – where there remain deep-seated fears about nuclear hazards (disposal, pollution, accident, weaponisation and proliferation).

But are such fears misguided or irrelevant when compared to the unfolding reality of adverse climate change?

Given our vast reserves of uranium, our stable political economy and isolation – does Australia have an obligation to embrace nuclear power?

Since being established in 2002, IQ² has spread from London to New York to Sydney – and now to Melbourne. Taking the traditional ‘grammar’ of Oxford-style debate seriously, with one side proposing and the other side opposing a sharply-framed motion.


IQ2 Melbourne is a project of St. James Ethics Centre and the Wheeler Centre.

Intelligence Squared
Intelligence Squared
St James Ethics Centre
St James Ethics Centre


Melbourne Town Hall

90-120 Swanston Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to the Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

View our privacy policy
Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.