Review of Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard

Nagasaki Life After Nuclear Warby Susan Southard(Viking, 416 pages, $28.95, July 28, 2015) Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz See other reviews at the Science Shelf Note: This review was originally published in The Dallas Morning News and is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single copies for their own use. For … Read more…

Nobel Laureates Debate the Future of Nuclear Power

At a Nobel Forum in December 2013, several past laureates discussed the future of nuclear power. Their conclusions were far from unanimous. All agreed that nuclear power is the only current technology capable of replacing fossil-fuel plants on a large enough scale to mitigate the risk of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. But … Read more…

Tornado Chasers and TV Networks

Over the past two weeks, the Oklahoma City area has been hit by two tragic tornados, and although the first one was more deadly, the second one provides us with the more important lessons. In the first one, which struck the city of Moore, was classified as in the most powerful range (EF-5). The largest … Read more…

Pro-Nuclear Environmentalism

On the 46th of 64 pages of my 2012 book for middle grade readers, Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future, I finally ask the question that the earlier chapters are designed to lead up to: “Is nuclear power worth the risk?” The remainder of the book provides a definite response, but … Read more…

Author Q&A about Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future

Readers of this blog might be interested in the backstory of my book for young readers Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future. A great advocate for nonfiction who writes under the online persona Book Kvetch published this very nice Q&A, which I hope you will enjoy.

Proofiness Revisited

As the 2012 political campaign heats up, statistical data is being massaged, distorted, and misapplied–unfortunately as has become the norm. Thus it seems like the right time to reprise an earlier blog entry in which I reviewed Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife (Viking, 2010, $25.95, 304 pages) Reviewed by Dr. … Read more…

Richard Muller shows what it means to be a climate change skeptic

We interrupt your weekend with MAJOR SCIENCE/POLITICAL NEWS. As the headline of this ThinkProgress blog entry notes, this is indeed a political bombshell. MacArthur “genius” grantee Richard Muller, a highly respected physicist and self-declared climate change skeptic has changed his mind in precisely the way a scientist should: He examined the evidence. As far as … Read more…

More about Hidden Biases and Fukushima

About six weeks ago, I posted a blog entry called Subtle and not so subtle biases shape assessment of Fukushima. It led to some interesting and intelligent discussion about whether nuclear energy should be part of the future worldwide energy mix. I wrote that entry as a reaction to critical reviews that described my new … Read more…

Subtle and not so subtle biases shape assessment of Fukushima

As readers of this blog may have figured out, I like to discuss political issues related to science and technology. Although I am personally a bit to the left of the American center, my ideology, if I have one, is that evidence trumps ideology every time. Perhaps the best description, given my willingness to state … Read more…

Should we call the Fukushima meltdowns a nuclear disaster?

A year ago, in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima meltdowns, I prepared a proposal for a middle grade book called “Lessons from Fukushima: The Promise and Risks of Nuclear Power.” My editor at Twenty-First Century Books accepted it, and put it on the fast track, but wanted a more marketable title. The result was … Read more…