The Leak: Politics, Activists, and Loss of Trust at Brookhaven National Laboratory (Hardcover)

The Leak: Politics, Activists, and Loss of Trust at Brookhaven National Laboratory By Robert P. Crease, Peter D. Bond (With) Cover Image
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Description


How the discovery of a harmless leak of radiation sparked a media firestorm, political grandstanding, and fearmongering that closed a vital scientific facility.

In 1997, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory found a small leak of radioactive water near their research reactor. Brookhaven was—and is—a world-class, Nobel Prize–winning lab, and its reactor was the cornerstone of US materials science and one of the world’s finest research facilities. The leak, harmless to health, came from a storage pool rather than the reactor. But its discovery triggered a media and political firestorm that resulted in the reactor’s shutdown, and even attempts to close the entire laboratory.
 
A quarter century later, the episode reveals the dynamics of today’s controversies in which fears and the dismissal of science disrupt serious discussion and research of vital issues such as vaccines, climate change, and toxic chemicals. This story has all the elements of a thriller, with vivid characters and dramatic twists and turns. Key players include congressmen and scientists; journalists and university presidents; actors, supermodels, and anti-nuclear activists, all interacting and teaming up in surprising ways. The authors, each with insider knowledge of and access to confidential documents and the key players, reveal how a fact of no health significance could be portrayed as a Chernobyl-like disaster. This compelling exposé reveals the gaps between scientists, politicians, media, and the public that have only gotten more dangerous since 1997.
 
Peter Bond is a retired physicist who worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory for 43 years in a wide variety of roles, including interim laboratory director during much of the period covered by this book.

About the Author


Robert P. Crease is Professor in and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University, where he has taught for more than three decades. He is the author of The Great Equations, The Prism and the Pendulum, and other books. A contributor of op-eds, articles, and reviews to publications including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, he writes a monthly column for Physics World.
 
Peter Bond is a retired physicist who worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory for 43 years in a wide variety of roles, including interim laboratory director during much of the period covered by this book.
 


Product Details
ISBN: 9780262047180
ISBN-10: 0262047187
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: October 25th, 2022
Pages: 344
Language: English