A Nuclear Family Vacation

An IEEE Spectrum Radio Special

IEEE Spectrum Radio
13 minutes, 6.2mb, recorded 2008-08-01
Nathan Hodge and Sharon Weinberger

Nathan Hodge and Sharon Weinberger, both reporters on defense and national security, observed a lack of public discourse about the nuclear infrastructure which remains in place even though the emphasis on nuclear arms has declined.  Those of us who grew up before the Regan era lived with the specter of nuclear destruction. The threat has receded into the background, but there remains a public fascination about the atomic bomb. 

To make the subject accessible to the public, the husband and wife pair undertook some nuclear tourism.  In their book A Nuclear Family Vacation, they discuss what they found at nuclear history sites, the relationship between the sites and the public, and the possible future of these sites.  In this talk on IEEE Spectrum Radio about their book, they conclude with some advice to others who might want to take a trip to visit nuclear history.

Nathan Hodge is a reporter for Jane's Defence Weekly in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in the Financial Times, Slate.com, and in a number of U.S. newspapers. He has reported extensively from Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East. In 2004, he was awarded a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and Political Science from Rutgers University and master's degree in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University.

Sharon Weinberger specializes in military science and technology, including related national security policy. Currently a freelance reporter and a contributor to Wired’s national security blog, Danger Room, her writing has also appeared in Nature, Discover, Slate, and The Washington Post Magazine. Weinberger is the author of the book Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon’s Scientific Underworld. She earned a degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins and a masters from Yale.


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