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'Monstrous' Tokyo


The pleasant shock of Hiroshima
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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Then we went along the coast to Hiroshima with the obvious messages, what about the atom bomb, which was first dropped in Hiroshima and then the second one in Nagasaki.

The fact is that if you go to Hiroshima now, you wouldn’t know anything about atom bombs unless you went to one particular place, which was the Remembrance Church and Garden where, for very sound reasons, they have retained the shell of a building, which was destroyed by the blast.

But the thought that the whole of the centre of the town, and for kilometres around, was devastated and contaminated by radioactivity would, I think, it had prepared me for a rather desert scene, almost perhaps one might say like the Germany Darmstadt that I described a few years after the war.  The fact is that there’s virtually no indication that that’s happened at all. It’s a huge, bustling city of well over a million people and everything’s working and growing perfectly well, so people can draw conclusions from that. There’s a lot of politicisation I think around nuclear energy, for example.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Germany, Darmstadt

Duration: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011