[ RadSafe ] Scientific Consensus

Bernard L. Cohen blc+ at pitt.edu
Thu Mar 15 12:57:12 CDT 2007

    With so much talk and discussion of what is the scientific consensus 
on global warming, it would be interesting to discuss the scientific 
consensus on whether nuclear power is much less harmful to human health  
than burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. I am sure there would 
be a much stronger scientific consensus on the nuclear power issue, but 
the media and the public assume the contrary..
    How could we document the scientific consensus on nuclear power? We 
could compile endorsements from scientific societies -- does anyone have 
such a compilation? We could take a poll of "knowledgeable scientists"  
-- how best to define that group? Would University employed members of 
Health Physics Society be credible? Is there some other Society with 
more credibility whose members could be polled? Would the National 
Academy of Engineering be appropriate? I would like to poll energy 
specialists on University faculties -- is there a clean way to define these?
    If people would make suggestions on these matters, I would be happy 
to carry out the poll, or be a member of a group that does this or 
oversees it. Better yet, could we get some media people, or well 
recognized pollsters, involved? If a good program could be devised, I 
believe I could find the money to finance it.
    Since the world has discovered the meaning of "scientific 
consensus", maybe we could take advantage of it. Your suggestions would 
be most helpful.


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