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A Nuclear Winter's TaleScience and Politics in the 1980s$
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Lawrence Badash

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012720

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012720.001.0001

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Bureaucracy and Bickering

Bureaucracy and Bickering

(p.135) 11 Bureaucracy and Bickering
A Nuclear Winter's Tale

Lawrence Badash

The MIT Press

Freeman Dyson disagreed with the notion that the research goal was to narrow the range of possibilities for the many ingredients of nuclear winter. While he believed in the evils of nuclear war, Dyson argued that there was a need for greater precision. The nuclear winter predictions made by the TTAPS team (comprised of Richard Turco, Owen Brian Toon, Thomas Ackerman, James Pollack, and Carl Sagan) and others had spurred a flurry of scientific activity. In late 1982, the National Academy of Sciences’s (NAS) National Research Council submitted a proposal for research on nuclear winter to the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA). The DNA expressed concern that results of both the NAS and the TTAPS studies would be “unrealistically pessimistic.” This chapter examines the bureaucracy and bickering related to the research on nuclear winter, focusing on the reactions of conservative and liberal critics as well as government agencies such as the Department of Defense.

Keywords:   nuclear winter, Carl Sagan, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, bureaucracy, bickering, Department of Defense, nuclear war, research, Freeman Dyson

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