In San Francisco and at Stanford University


EDF is an environmental advocacy group set up in 1967, during a period when many new movements were sprouting up. This was the period when Rachel Carson’s seminal book ‘Silent Spring’ came out, as well as the period when the Vietnam War was escalating.

At EDF, scientists and lawyers come together in order to solve pressing social problems through policies and politics. I was in the US around that time (in 1969) and so feel I know the social background out of which this movement rose up.

I was invited by the board of trustees of this organization to join its ‘Science Day’ event, and I decided to accept and so found myself in San Francisco. I think they invited me because the theme this time was nuclear energy.

I reached San Francisco a day early on the 4th of February, and was invited to give a seminar the next day at APARC in Stanford University. Another reason I was there was to meet professor Takeo Hoshi, who had just joined Stanford from UC San Diego where he had been for about 20 years.

My seminar was attended by Masahiko Aoki and many others, and I was also able to have an informal discussion of around 2 hours after my hour-and-a-half seminar.

The EDF meeting the next day was attended by the likes of Burton Richter and John F. Ahearne (a key member of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) which compiled a report for the Three Mile Island Accident (March 1979), who then become Chairman of the Commission two months after the release of the Kemeny Report), all giants in their respective fields, and thanks to the participation of many experts in environmental and energy problems, a lively discussion took place. It was interesting to be in a conference with such a long discussion.

I stayed at Cavallo Point, located in Sausalito, at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The good Californian weather made it an enjoyable 3 days.