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Thoughts on peace (Part 2)


Thoughts on peace (Part 1)
Edward Teller Scientist
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There is a situation, there has developed a situation which to my mind is truly alarming. I have already referred to it in part. I want to talk about it now in general. And that is the fear of people, the fear of technology. I came to the United States just about sixty years ago. At that time anything that was new was good. Sometimes it wasn't quite good. Some times it had to be corrected but the feeling of the people was- Progress and more Progress. All of this fortunately to some extent is still with us, but not quite in the old way. People to a greater and greater extent are afraid of progress. Why? And the connected question: what to do about it? These to my mind are exceptionally important questions. In the last few years development of weapons was de-emphasized. Let me give you a rationale why that should be done, a rationale which is wrong, which is crazy. I want to put it before you as though it were real: Wars are caused by weapons. The best weapons are made by the United States. Therefore, if only the United States would stop making weapons the world would be a safe place. This is as wrong a statement as it possibly can be. Perhaps even a little more, more wrong. Yet, we behave as though that would be a reality.

The late Hungarian-American physicist Edward Teller helped to develop the atomic bomb and provided the theoretical framework for the hydrogen bomb. During his long and sometimes controversial career he was a staunch advocate of nuclear power and also of a strong defence policy, calling for the development of advanced thermonuclear weapons.

Listeners: John H. Nuckolls

John H. Nuckolls was Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1988 to 1994. He joined the Laboratory in 1955, 3 years after its establishment, with a masters degree in physics from Columbia. He rose to become the Laboratory's Associate Director for Physics before his appointment as Director in 1988.

Nuckolls, a laser fusion and nuclear weapons physicist, helped pioneer the use of computers to understand and simulate physics phenomena at extremes of temperature, density and short time scales. He is internationally recognised for his work in the development and control of nuclear explosions and as a pioneer in the development of laser fusion.

Duration: 3 minutes, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: June 1996

Date story went live: 29 September 2010