SF New Mexican: Scientists help with border protection

posted Mar 30, 2004

As much as I love science fiction, I will always begrudge it for the OMIGOD RADIATION!!1! attitudes it has promoted, which seemingly have lodged firmly in the public conciousness.

(Oh, sorry, you don't like that typography? Be glad I didn't use <blink>... I seriously considered it. I also almost made it <font size="+4">... ;-) )

People need to realize how much radiation they are exposed to every day as a perfectly normal part of life. Bananas, cat litter, porcelin, this is only the tip of the radiation iceberg. Cosmic rays along account for a lot of the background radiation we receive.

Then we could have a better debate about nuclear energy. Hey, maybe it isn't the answer (though I think it is seriously underrated as compared to the environmental costs of other power generation techniques; the concentration of nuclear waste is a feature, not a bug!), but we're better off deciding that from a rational and considered debate, not through irrational fears of radiation.


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