Synopses & Reviews
We live in complicated, dangerous times. They are also hyper-technical times. As citizens who will elect future presidents of the most powerful and influential country in the world, we need to know--truly understand, not just rely on television's talking heads--if Iran's nascent nuclear capability is a genuine threat to the West, if biochemical weapons are likely to be developed by terrorists, if there are viable alternatives to fossil fuels that should be nurtured and supported by the government, if nuclear power should be encouraged, and if global warming is actually happening. This book is written in everyday, nontechnical language on the science behind the concerns that our nation faces in the immediate future. Even active readers of serious journalism will be surprised by the lessons that the book contains. It is "must-have" information for all presidents--and citizens--of the twenty-first century.
"What should the president do if a 'dirty' radioactive bomb were exploded in an American city? Should he or she support the construction of pebble-bed nuclear reactors to provide safe, clean energy? In this presidential primer, MacArthur fellow and UC-Berkeley physicist Muller ranges from terrorism to space exploration to global warming, offering basic information and countering myths. He says, for instance, that dirty bombs aren't as dangerous as people fear; if the radiation is diffused over a large area, the risk of death or of cancer is extremely low. In a survey of energy sources, Muller argues that much-hyped hydrogen and solar energy have a long way to go, whereas nuclear power and coal don't deserve the bad rap they receive. Regarding space exploration, Muller joins the ranks of scientists who maintain that it is better done by robots than by humans. Nuclear technology receives considerable attention, though information is repeated from one chapter to another, but an extensive, balanced section on global warming should be required reading for all informed citizens as well as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain. 50 illus. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
'\'A triumph.\"Steve Weinberg, Boston Globe
This is 'must-have' information for all presidents'"and citizens'"of the twenty-first century: Is Iran"s nascent nuclear capability a genuine threat to the West? Are biochemical weapons likely to be developed by terrorists? Are there viable alternatives to fossil fuels that should be nurtured and supported by the government? Should nuclear power be encouraged? Can global warming be stopped?
Learn the science behind the headlines--the tools of terrorists, the dangers of nuclear power, and the reality of global warming.
About the Author
Richard A. Muller is professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a past winner of the MacArthur Fellowship. His book Physics for Future Presidents is based on his renowned course for non-science students. He lives in Berkeley, California.