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July 17, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-07-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Gulag I
By PAUL HASKINS
In the midst of all the hoopla
over the joint U.S.-Soviet mis-
sion in space, the Russian ex-
patriate Alexander Solzhenit-
syn has provided the one dis-
senting voice - a role he'd al-
ready achieved expert status
in - over the whole affair.
Just about everybody inyolv-
ed in this latest extraterreutial
activity, from the lowliest NASA
technocrat to the sulkiest Pra-
vda copy controller to the cos-
monaut/astronaut-stars of the
big show themselves, have for
months spouted on about how
much the ziillion-dollar mating

id finds out West ain't best

procedure can do toward pene-
trating the remaining layers of
the iron curtain and catapulting
"world peace" into hottest poli-
tical topic status.
But just when everyone else
had grown content to bask in
the aura of world fellowship
they saw emanating from the
two superpowers' first coopera-
tive effort in space, the Gulag
Kid had to gorand burst the bro-
therhood balloon with a couple
of ascerbic and well-targeted
comments.
Solzhenitsyn's revulsion at the
whole affair is no surprise to
anyone familiar with his writ-

ings or the convictions behind
his forced departure from the
USSR.
Americans and so-called free-
dom-lovers across the world em-
braced the famous author and
chronicler of the atrocities of
Stalinist Russian upon his de-
fection from the USSR over a
year ago. For them he became

suppressive policies of tise Rus-
sian government. Why do we
Americans extol the vir*ues of
Russian technology's comnpati-
bility with our own, 'ae asked,
when behind the thin veneer of
t e c h n ic a 1 progress it's
plain to see that socially the
Russia of 1975 still wallows in
the dark ages.

The Gulag Kid had to go anr burst the -fel-
lowship balloon with a couple of ascerbic and
well-targeted comments aimed at the space
program.
-- - - - 'a- -mmonssm no

exercises of personal conviction
of the century. But one has to
wonder where his personal
priorities lay when the man
looks to the United States to pro-
vide the freedoms and principles
the USSR so sadly lacks.
Solzhenitsyn held fast to the
same vision of the U.S. that so
many million Americans also did
during their pyro-teen civics
course days. No doubt that sim-
plistic vision was shaken some-
what last week when the Presi-
dent backed down from his plan-
ned audience with the author be-
cause of the latter's outspoken
opposition to what he saw as
U.S. ebllaboration-with and sup-
port of the Russian government.
It's a bitter lesson to learn,
but one that anyone with eyes
and ears cannot escape. Free-
dom in American is not dead.
Not yet, anyway. But our lead-
ership is unflinchingly leading
us down the primrose path of
autocracy, and it appears the
time hascome to make the most
of what little few choices we
have left.
If you're looking for Valhal-
la, Alexander, go elsewhere.

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, July 17, 1975
News Phone: 764-0552

a symbol of courageous re-
sistance to totalitarianism and,.
through his choice, the embodi-
ment of the supremacy of Wes-
tern capitalism over Eastern
European communism.
Ironically, it is these s a m e
people who did a collective dou-
ble-take earlier this week when
Solahenitsyn downplayed t h e
space follies and used his front-
page forum to take a shot at the

And certainly not an unfamil-
iar one. As a matter of fact, it's
one that a healthy minority of
Americans have been asking our
own government for over ten
years now concerned with re-
gards to its own astronomical
spending priorities.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn's open
defiance of the people who con-
trolled his homeland must rank
as one of the great and p u r e

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(ER-

The bomb at 30: Los Alamos revisited

By RICK DU BROW
SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) - It
was 30 years ago today that a
group of scientists gathered :on
a desert in New Mexico a n d
changed the course of history.
They exploded the first atomic
bomb.
It was, as the Bulletin of the
Atomic Scientists says, "t h e
birth of Big Science."
The blast at Alamogordo,
N.M., on July 16, 1945, ushered
in an era of superstar scientists.
Men who previously had little
influence in government and had
worked in fields virtually un-
known to the public suddenly be-
came the towering figures in,
the nation's future.
In the years that followed, sci-
entists such as Edward. Teller
and J. Robert Oppenheimer be-
came household names - often
embroiled in controversy.
More Americans won the No-
bel Prize. Six Nobel laureates
of the post-World War II period

had been involved at the Los
Alamos, N.M., laboratory during
the war.
Nobel-winning physicist Luis
Alvarez, of the University of
California at Berkeley, thinks
that "not only the bomb but ra-
dar and other wartime develop-
menlts" gave the public n e w
awareness of scientists.
In earlier years, he recalls,
"if I went, to a party, I al-
ways said I was a chemist be-
cause nobody knew what a ohy-
sicist did."
After the Alamogordo blast,
"people recognized there was a
lot they hadn't known about sci-
ence. And then it made the war
shorter and saved a lot of lives,"
hesaid.
But scientists themselves dis-
agree about what has happen-
ed in the three decades since
the men of the Manhattan Pro-
ject exploded their bomb in
New Mexico and built the ones
that destroyed Hiroshima and

Nagasaki less than a month lat-
er.
Teller, often referred to as
"the father of the H-bomb" -- a
title he dislikes - says:
"It is true that scientists have
been more in the public eye,
but science has not been. I
would almost say that the scien-
tists have become more imwrt-
ant and science less, and that
is a poor bargain.

has "declined catastrophically."
He sugested one reason was
many young persons do not
consider science as relevant a
field as in the past.
"I think there has been a de-
cline in interest," agrees Hans
Mark, director of the National
Aeronautics and Space Admin-
istration's Ames Research Cen-
ter in Mountain View, Calif.
'Nowadays we are in the cycle

Six Nobel laureates of the post-World War
I period had been involved at the Los Alamos,
N.M., laboratory during the war.
{{y } r",..r" g}L"Y+ {',"f.r ,r ,,} {, vMM M ''rrrE .,{$ '- . .er

Adds Alvarez: "When you
walk into a university bookstore
and see books of astrology on
.prominent display, it gives you
food for thought.
"I find it a shocking thing,
this interest in astrology and
exorcism and the occult, al-nost
as if we had gone back to the
Salem days."
Nonetheless, Alvarez thicks
there are perhaps more good
scientists than ever - "but it's
like the golf tour: the field has
expanded a hundred times, and
there are more hackers."
.. -
Letters should be - typed
and limited to 400 words.
The Daily reserves the
right to edit letters for
length and grammar.

"If there would be more pub-
lie interest in science itself and
what we are doing, or in tech-
nology itself, that would be a
real advantage - but that is not
what has happened."
Teller said recently he felt.
the quality of young scientists

of 'help your neighbor.' Of
course science fits importantly
into this idea. But there are cy-
cles of popular ideas." Says.
Teller: "There used to be 'an
uncritical admiration .)f pro-
gress, and that no longer
exists."

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