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In closing

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, in an appendix to the report on the loss of the space shuttle Challenger.   The first post in this series was put up a little more than two years ago and I’ve written […]

The post In closing appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

drought1-300x235

Nuclear Winter (2)

Editor’s Note: Please refer to previous post for a correction as noted in the Editor’s Note.  Last week’s post reviewed the basic science of nuclear winter – the short version is that the explosions themselves will put many tons of dust into the atmosphere, and the fires that are started by the nuclear explosions will […]

The post Nuclear Winter (2) appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

glacier

Nuclear Winter (1)

  Editor’s Note: It has come to our attention that the study on nuclear autumn referenced below was not from a peer reviewed scientific journal; it was published in Foreign Affairs in 1986. In addition, we have learned that there are not two opposing camps on this issue as described in this post and we […]

The post Nuclear Winter (1) appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

Emerson

A foolish consistency

Consistency is good – there’s a sense of security in knowing that some things will generally remain constant over time. We can always count on gravity, for example, to hold us firmly to the ground; politicians are typically pandering and self-serving; I can count on radioactivity to consistently decay away; and so forth. Of course, […]

The post A foolish consistency appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

radioactive

The Mexican radiation accident (Part II)

A highly respected colleague and friend of mine says he no longer refers to “lessons learned” but, rather, to “lessons recognized” because he has noticed that we don’t always learn our lessons. It’s not too early to recognize some lessons from the Mexican accident of the other week, but the fact that this accident happened […]

The post The Mexican radiation accident (Part II) appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

Source and truck

The Mexican radiation accident (Part I)

Most news stories involving radiation are, to be blunt, overblown. Radiation can be dangerous, but the risk it actually poses is usually far lower than what the media stories would have us believe. So my first inclination when I hear about another story involving “deadly radiation” is to be skeptical. And then every now and […]

The post The Mexican radiation accident (Part I) appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

fracking

That Fracking Radon

Although there continues to be a great deal of comment-worthy material about Fukushima (including the latest idiotic suggestion that a collapse of the spent fuel storage in Unit 4 might call for the evacuation of California) I’d like to take a bit of a break from the apparent never-ending story. Partly I’d like to cover […]

The post That Fracking Radon appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

data scanning

My Take on Snowden’s Revelations

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by KNBC’s Scott McGrew regarding Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying. The clip is eight and a half minutes long, and here are some of the main points I made: A lot of what are now seen as NSA’s abuses were authorized by the Patriot Act, which was passed and renewed by […]

The post My Take on Snowden’s Revelations appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

data scanning

My Take on Snowden’s Revelations

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by KNBC’s Scott McGrew regarding Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying. The clip is eight and a half minutes long, and here are some of the main points I made: A lot of what are now seen as NSA’s abuses were authorized by the Patriot Act, which was passed and renewed by […]

The post My Take on Snowden’s Revelations appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

po clearance

Death by polonium?

Last year I posted a piece that, in addition to 2 other short bits, briefly discussed the possibility that Yassar Arafat might have been poisoned with polonium-210 (Po-210) in 2004, including the apparent finding of elevated levels of the nuclide in Arafat’s remains. At the time I was dubious that there would be enough Po-210 […]

The post Death by polonium? appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.