Peter Galison is the Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University. Nuclear waste is a topic none of us like to think about. He offers no pat solutions but does talk about some of the questions that it forces us to confront, some of the most difficult ethical questions we have towards the environment, both now and in the future.
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ABOUT Peter Galison
“Peter Galison is interested in the intersection of philosophical and historical questions such as these: What, at a given time, convinces people that an experiment is correct? How do scientific subcultures form interlanguages of theory and things at their borders?
More broadly, his main work explores the complex interaction between the three principal subcultures of twentieth century physics, experimentation, instrumentation and theory. All focus on the role of visualisation and materiality in scientific work.
To explore the relation of scientific work with larger issues of politics, he has made two documentary films: “Ultimate Weapon: The H-bomb Dilemma” (2000) on the moral-political debates over the H-bomb and ‘Secrecy’ with Robb Moss, a film about the vast, invisible world of Government secrecy.
By focusing on classified secrets, the Government’s ability to put information out of sight if it would harm national security. ‘Secrecy’ explores the tensions between America’s safety as a nation, and their ability to function as a democracy. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.
At present, he is completing a book, ‘Building Crashing Thinking’ (on technologies that re-form the self) and has just begun a new documentary film project on the long-term geological storage of nuclear waste called Nuclear Underground.”