Lawrence Badash

Lawrence Badash was Professor Emeritus of History of Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He authored Kapitza, Rutherford, and the Kremlin and Scientists and the Development of Nuclear Weapons: From Fission to the Limited Test Ban Treaty.

  • A Nuclear Winter's Tale

    A Nuclear Winter's Tale

    Science and Politics in the 1980s

    Lawrence Badash

    The rise and fall of the concept of nuclear winter, played out in research activity, public relations, and Reagan-era politics.

    The nuclear winter phenomenon burst upon the public's consciousness in 1983. Added to the horror of a nuclear war's immediate effects was the fear that the smoke from fires ignited by the explosions would block the sun, creating an extended “winter” that might kill more people worldwide than the initial nuclear strikes. In A Nuclear Winter's Tale, Lawrence Badash maps the rise and fall of the science of nuclear winter, examining research activity, the popularization of the concept, and the Reagan-era politics that combined to influence policy and public opinion.

    Badash traces the several sciences (including studies of volcanic eruptions, ozone depletion, and dinosaur extinction) that merged to allow computer modeling of nuclear winter and its development as a scientific specialty. He places this in the political context of the Reagan years, discussing congressional interest, media attention, the administration's plans for a research program, and the Defense Department's claims that the arms buildup underway would prevent nuclear war, and thus nuclear winter.

    A Nuclear Winter's Tale tells an important story but also provides a useful illustration of the complex relationship between science and society. It examines the behavior of scientists in the public arena and in the scientific community, and raises questions about the problems faced by scientific Cassandras, the implications when scientists go public with worst-case scenarios, and the timing of government reaction to startling scientific findings.

    • Hardcover $9.75

Contributor

  • Technology in America, Third Edition

    Technology in America, Third Edition

    A History of Individuals and Ideas

    Carroll Pursell

    The new edition of a popular collection that traces the history of American invention from the age of the artisan to the era of Silicon Valley.

    This volume traces the history of American technology—its inventions and inventors—from the age of the artisan to the era of Silicon Valley. The focus on inventors acknowledges that technology is a fundamental form of human behavior and that, ultimately, it is people who have the ideas, design the machines, and build the institutions. These accessible and succinct essays chronicle the work of the famous—among them, Thomas Jefferson, Eli Whitney, and Thomas Alva Edison—and of the sometimes forgotten—including Ellen Swallow Richards, the founder of the home economics movement. One illuminating essay shows how Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin helped Americans confront the modern technological age.This third edition retains the content of the first two editions and adds three new essays: on Rachel Carson and the rise of the environmental movement; on A. C. Gilbert and the development of an American toy industry; and on Lewis Latimer and the struggle of African Americans to gain recognition as professional inventors and engineers.

    Contributors Lawrence Badash, George Basalla, Robert V. Bruce, Jean Christie, Gail Cooper, Ruth Schwartz Cowan, James J. Flink, Barton C. Hacker, Samuel P. Hays, Brooke Hindle, Thomas Parke Hughes, Reese V. Jenkins, John A. Kouwenhoven, Edwin T. Layton Jr., W. David Lewis, Hugo A. Meier, Carroll Pursell, Adam Rome, Bruce Sinclair, Merritt Roe Smith, Darwin H. Stapleton, John William Ward, James C. Williams

    • Paperback $30.00