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The University of Louisville’s 2014 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order goes to a professor and researcher for his writings on nuclear proliferation.

Jacques Hymans is associate professor of international relations at the University of Southern California.  He’s being honored for his 2012 book, “Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians and Proliferation.”

Hymans writes that over the past four decades, nuclear weapons programs in many developing nations have failed or been met with delays because of mismanagement by their leaders and technical obstacles.

He also argues that the international efforts to curb nuclear proliferation have overestimated the ability of some nations to build a bomb.

“Countries that have been trying to get the bomb in recent years, such as Iraq or North Korea or Libya, really are the kinds of states that are least capable of managing a major big science project,” he said. 

Hymans says such miscalculations can result in counterproductive policies such as military interventions.

The Grawemeyer Award includes a $100,000 cash prize.    Prizes are also being announced this week for music composition, psychology, education and religion.

Listen to an interview with Professor  Jacques Hymans: 

Rick Howlett is WFPL's Broadcast Managing Editor and also produces feature and general assignment radio stories.