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Science History Podcast


May 12, 2024

In episode 77, I interviewed William Lanouette about Leo Szilard's work on the atom bomb, with a discussion of the roles that Szilard played until the end of World War II. Today, in part two of my interview with Bill, we focus on Szilard's achievements after the war. Bill is a writer and public policy analyst who has specialized in the history of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. He received an A.B. in English with a minor in Philosophy at Fordham College in 1963, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science at the London School of Economics and the University of London in 1966 and 1973, respectively. Bill then worked as a journalist for Newsweek, The National Observer, and National Journal, and he was the Washington Correspondent for The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He has also written for The Atlantic, The Economist, Scientific American, The New York Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, and many other outlets. Bill also worked as a Senior Analyst for Energy and Science Issues at the US Government Accountability Office. Bill's first book was Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb, published by Scribner's in 1992, with later editions published by the University of Chicago Press and Skyhorse Publications. Bill also published, in 2021, The Triumph of the Amateurs: The Rise, Ruin, and Banishment of Professional Rowing in The Gilded Age.