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August 26 , 2007

A Distant Light

Scientists and Public Policy


A collection of essays by a Nobel Prize Laureate on a wide range of problems facing the world, and the role of scientists in solving them. Kendall was one of a group of physicists who founded the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and is currently chairman of its board of directors. UCS is today a voice of authority in US government science policy, particularly with regard to environment issues. Together, these essays represent both the successes and failures of science to impact public policy, and offer practical guidelines for involvement in science policy. They are roughly chronological, organised by subject with introductions, beginning with the controversies on nuclear power safety and Three Mile Island, then followed by sections on national security issues, global environmental and resource problems, and radioactive cleanup. Kendall's Nobel Prize lecture is also included (and is the only really technical material in the book), while the photos are from a 1992 exhibition of his work.

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