Writing


In addition to my other work, I enjoy writing. Given what I do for a living, most of my writing is scientific or technical in nature. To that end, I have written chapters in a half-dozen books as well as a number of papers published in the scientific literature. I have also written the texts used in the short courses I teach, as well as the text for my graduate class in radiological terrorism.

Much of my writing takes the form of editorials and (hopefully) thought-provoking articles for scientific and technical journals and newsletters, including a quarterly column called "An American Perspective" for the German-Swiss journal, Strahlenschutz Praxis, and (from time to time) for the Health Physics News. I also wrote a chapter on nuclear energy for the UN-sponsored Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems; this is aimed at a general audience, albeit one that has some background in science. In addition to these, I also enjoy writing for more general audiences. My first foray into this arena was writing articles and biographies for the encyclopedia series, Science and its Times. Encouraged by this, I wrote my first book, Rig Ship for Ultra Quiet (no longer in print), which described life onboard a nuclear submarine engaged in intelligence-gathering operations at the end of the Cold War. This was based on my personal experiences as an enlisted man on the USS Plunger (SSN 595). After that, I was busy working on my Ph.D. dissertation, and my next book (Radical Radiation, co-authored with Ben Stein) was not published until 2006. It and two others (Radiation and Planetary Motion, to be published next year by Chelsea House and also co-authored with Ben Stein) are aimed at younger readers - grade school and middle school. My current writing project is the most ambitious to date; I am working on an 8-volume series of book on science and social controversies (Controversies in Science, to be published by Facts on File). This series will consist of 8 books: Physics, Biological Science, Earth Science, Chemistry, Marine Science, Astronomy and Space Science, Weather and Atmosphere, and Forensic Science. When completed, these books will examine the intersection of science and society - in particular, the manner in which science can engender social controversies, and how we might try to weight the benefits that come from science against their costs.