Nuclear Education

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When I think of the University of California, UC Berkeley is what usually comes to mind.  And with that, all the usual images of Berkeley: college students throwing the Frisbee, Co-ops, posters in the windows of used record shops announcing a protest on Tuesday.  (I haven’t been there in a while, so I could be grossly misrepresenting the place.)  What does not come to mind, however, are nuclear weapons.

Apparently, they should.

In an article for writer and anti-war activist Norman Solomon writes,

“Since the early 1940s, UC has managed the nation’s top laboratories for designing nuclear bombs. Today, California’s public university system is still immersed in the nuclear weapons business.

“Sixty-five years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945, the University of California imprimatur is an air freshener for the stench of preparations for global annihilation. Nuclear war planners have been pleased to exploit UC’s vast technical expertise and its image of high-minded academic purpose.”

Solomon admits that, “those laboratories do some nifty ecological research and other laudable things,” but one of their main objectives is to modernize nuclear weaponry, which Solomon finds odd, “having the state of California’s top system of higher education devoted to R&D for designing better ways to blow up the planet.”

As the U.S. Government amps up its nuclear spending Solomon is left to wonder,

“For sure, there’s plenty of money sloshing around to reward the masters–and academic servants–of the nuclear weapons industry. But should the University of California be managing laboratories that design the latest technologies for nuclear holocaust?”


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