By Henning Wegener, William A. Barletta
It is a booklet of testimonials from contributors to the recognized Erice foreign Seminars on Nuclear conflict and Planetary Emergencies. The Erice foreign Seminars with their multidisciplinary medical audiences have addressed, considering 1981, a protracted record of planetary difficulties and emergencies. This publication describes essentially the most fascinating highbrow and political ventures of the later a part of the twentieth century, of the a long time of the chilly battle, a interval of bristling East-West stress with the omnipresent risk that its administration could get out of hand, and a conflict of incredible share and capability harm eruption. The Erice overseas Seminars - held in an idyllic atmosphere of a small position in Western Sicily - have been the try to stem those perilous tides, and to place technological know-how on the provider of political problem-solving in a brand new, open and interdisciplinary method aimed, on the maximum medical point. millions of top-level scientists, the easiest of their respective fields, between them many Nobel Prize laureates, have participated within the Seminars and their interdisciplinary operating teams in addition to the everlasting tracking Panels, and feature helped to generate a gentle and influential move of medical perception. United of their paintings in a special group of data, knowledge and shared values, those eminent scientists testify, at the present time, the significance and the effect of the Erice foreign Seminars over the past 28 years.
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Extra info for Averting Disaster: Science for Peace in a Perilous Age, the Erice International Seminars on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies, from 1981 to 2008
All was not deadly serious. I often accompanied Dr. Teller to the meetings, which he enjoyed enormously because they recalled the free-wheeling discussions he participated in when quantum physics was in its infancy. It was also pleasant to see him interact with Prof. Lee, who still gave Dr. Teller the deference due his old professor, and Dr. Garwin, who had worked with Dr. Teller in Los Alamos. By the end of the cold war Erice was recognized as a valuable site for such discussions. Perhaps for that reason, when the transfer of power in the Soviet Union evolved into an attempted coup, President Yeltsin sent a large contingent of scientists in his own plane to participate in the Erice seminar.
Scientists are often not public men, and are unable to express their ideas in straightforward sentences. This has several major draw-backs: the modest interaction between scientists and public, the presence of journalists interposed between discoveries and the audience with the frequent manipulation of the main messages, to make the news more appealing for the general popUlation. The remark on the need to speak-up, as physicists have done during the cold war to contain nuclear armament, is often initially perceived in a negative way.
In the 2008 the Planetary Emergencies Seminars focused on Climate changes, the global temperature rise has been analysed in respect to several scientific aspects. It would not be unusual to start a session on the new energy fonts, to lower the emission of greenhouse gas, and to end up with Public health planning to contain emerging epidemic of vector-borne diseases, in unusual geographic regions, because of temperature modifications on the globe. In previous conferences, focused on environmental contaminations, it would have been commonplace to discuss nuclear waste, nuclear accidents of several megaton bombs and the analysis of polar bear's teeth for monitoring environmental contamination.