CTBT Science and Technology 2021 Conference: marking 25 years and innovating for the future

The CTBT Science and Technology Conference 2021 (SnT2021), from 28 June to 2 July 2021, will bring together more than 1,000 participants to celebrate the achievements of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in its 25th anniversary year, and explore the latest technical innovations and research supporting its journey to entry into force.

Hundreds of scientific, technical and policy experts will be taking part from around the globe in a mainly virtual format, along with academics, students, and members of the media, civil society and organizations involved in research and development.

It will be the sixth in the series of biennial multidisciplinary conferences covering all aspects of the CTBT verification regime, designed to further enhance the strong relationship between the scientific and technological community, policymakers and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s conference will launch on 28 June with a hybrid High Level Opening from the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, followed by online sessions over the course of the week.  

All events of the conference are open to the media on our virtual platform – please see below for registration details and link to the provisional programme.


The 25th anniversary of the CTBT’s opening for signature will be marked by a series of talks and panel discussions examining developments and achievements since 1996, and the challenges and prospects for the Treaty in the future. High-level discussions on the opening day (28 June) will include an examination of the CTBT’s evolution and its role as a model of scientific inclusion and cooperation. Afternoon sessions will focus on the potential of Artificial Intelligence in monitoring for nuclear explosions, and how space science can help to address global challenges.

From 29 June to 2 July, a host of diverse technological and scientific panels will explore issues under five main themes: the Earth as a Complex System; Events and Nuclear test Sites; Verification Technologies and Technique Application; Performance Evaluation and Optimization; and CTBT in a Global Context.

The global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic was a stress test for systems around the world, including global monitoring systems such as the CTBT’s, which relies on continuous data gathering, transmission and analysis. A dedicated panel and series of oral presentations over several sessions will reflect upon this experience and the lessons that can be learned from it.

Other highlights of the conference will include sessions on how to communicate effectively on scientific uncertainties; using machine learning to detect explosions; science diplomacy education; science and technology for sustainable development, peace and security; debating the skills of ‘human vs. machine’ in data analysis; and the global challenges of hazard mitigation.

Registration Details

Because of restrictions and uncertainties due to the pandemic, there will be only limited in-person attendance at the Hofburg Palace on the opening day (Monday, 28 June 2021), with most participants joining online. The other days of the conference, with highlights and invited talks, oral presentations, panels, e-posters, side events, extensive opportunities for discussions in virtual break-out rooms, chats and more, will be conducted virtually from 29 June to 2 July 2021.

In order to access conference events, all participants must register using the registration form.  Log on to an existing Indico account if you have one, or create a new one through the link provided.

The provisional programme can be found here. Additional conference details will be provided on registration.


Gill Tudor
Chief of Public Information
T: +43 1 26030 6375
M: +43 699 1459 6375
Email: [email protected]

Media Resources

Full programme to be streamed through SnT2021 online conference platform, and available later on YouTube.

For interview requests with keynote speakers, panelists or other participants, please contact CTBTO Public Information (pressping@ctbtopong.org).  

CTBTO Twitter stream (#SnT2021)

Images on Flickr

B-roll available upon request (e-mail pressping@ctbtopong.org)


The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions everywhere, by everyone, and for all time. Adherence to the Treaty is nearly universal – 185 States have signed and 170 have ratified – but it has not yet entered into force. To do so, it must be ratified by all 44 States listed in the Treaty’s Annex 2, of which eight are still missing.

The CTBTO has established an International Monitoring System (IMS) to ensure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected. Currently, 302 certified facilities – of a total of 337 when complete – are operating around the world, using four main technologies: seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide.

The data registered by the IMS can also be used for disaster mitigation such as earthquake monitoring, tsunami warning, and tracking radioactivity from nuclear accidents, as well as research into fields as diverse as whale migration, climate change or the prediction of monsoon rains.