Bernadette Cogswell is a Research Scientist at the Center for Neutrino Physics, Virginia Tech University. She was previously a Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellow at the University of Manchester’s School of Physics and Astronomy and a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security. She works on scientific and technical issues at the intersection of particle physics and nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, and on policy and social issues surrounding nuclear threat reduction. She has undergraduate degrees in both Psychology and in Physics, graduate degrees in Physics and in English, and a PhD in Physics from Vanderbilt University. Bernadette is an associate editor for the journal Science & Global Security.

Research Interests

Nuclear weapons are inherently technical but, are at heart, a social problem. They touch on value systems and fundamental beliefs about power and security that are personal, not scientific. Advancing towards a world safe from nuclear threat will need cross-disciplinary research teams made up of social and physical scientists along with great communicators and visualizers. My research, policy, and outreach efforts focus on fostering this cross-team approach and perspective to understand and improve nuclear threat reduction initiatives such as nuclear monitoring and nuclear policy reforms.



B. K. Cogswell and P. Huber, Cerium Ruthenium Low-energy Antineutrino Measurements for Safeguarding Military Naval ReactorsPhysical Review Letters, 128, June 2022.

B. K. Cogswell, A. Goel, and P. Huber, Passive Low-Energy Nuclear-Recoil Detection with Color Centers, Physical Review Applied, 16, 2021.

B. K. Cogswell, N. Siahaan, F. Siera, M. V. Ramana, and R. Tanter, Prospects and Challenges of Nuclear Power and Small Modular Reactors in Indonesia, NAPSNet Special Reports, April 27, 2017.

B. K. Cogswell and P. Huber, Detection of Breeding Blankets Using AntineutrinosScience & Global Security, 24, 2016.