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American Institute of Physics announces awards for best science writing
Date:2/24/2009

ary issues, such as ballistic missiles, tactical nuclear weapons, or submarine detection. Other problems have focused on how to surmount the large technical issues of dealing with climate change. Some of the Jason scientists have been attending these meetings for thirty years -- despite the fact that some of them belong to academic cultures that often frowns on engaging in applied military research. The tradeoffs, as the book makes clear, include the intellectual challenges of solving tough problems, the civic pride of performing government service, and the satisfying pleasure the scientists feel from being in the stimulating company of their Jason peers.

"In the end," Finkbeiner says, "this book is a profile of the inheritors of the Manhattan Project, these scientists with their faith in the clarity -- or at least the precise uncertainty -- of pure science, their feelings of responsibility for its occasionally lethal consequences, and their willingness to navigate the accompanying political realities and moral messes."

Finkbeiner's award will be presented on March 19, 2009 at the American Physical Society's March Meeting in Pittsburgh. Her book is also showcased at: http://annfinkbeiner.com/.


MORE ABOUT "FAUST IN COPENHAGEN"

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was Germany's all-time greatest literary talent, and his lifetime masterpiece was "Faust," the dramatic retelling of an old cautionary tale: selling one's soul to the devil in exchange for worldly knowledge can come at an ultimate price.

Gino Segre's book, "Faust in Copenhagen," takes its name from an amusing parody of "Faust" that was dreamed up by physicist Max Delbruck in 1932, a century after Goethe died. Delbruck and other members of the nuclear physics institute in Copenhagen performed the skit as a diversion -- a way for the young physicists to make fun of their elders at the end of a conference that was org
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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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