“Jeff has spent the past 45 years as a research physicist helping to develop the science that has made technically possible a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), one linchpin of the Cold War stand-down discussed in his new book, Avoiding Apocalypse”
When a man of Colvin’s outstanding and fascinating background, writes a book about how Science realised that to continue on the pathway it was moving down with rapidity, you take notice. Avoiding Apocalypse revisits the history of the Cold War (1947-1991), a time of which the younger generation have little understanding, but a time when the world changed, due to science.
Following on from the Second World War, Russia set off on a vastly different pathway, moving into the world of nuclear Science, as it had some of the best scientific brains at its fingertips; these scientists had taken part in the development of the Atomic Bomb and were intrigued to take the splitting of atoms further – the little understood world of nuclear fusion was in its infancy, the future lay waiting.
Russia saw the potential for world dominance, closed its boarders, and moved rapidly to develop nuclear bombs. America saw this as a direct threat, not just to them but globally and established their own almost identical Scientific program, to go bigger and better than the Russia. The Cold War was born and the world trembled.
Eventually the scientists from both countries took the long view, realising exactly what would happen should either or both countries ‘push the button’ and interestingly, united in their efforts to stop what was developing. Colvin played a role in what was to become a dedicated boycott of the program by scientists and a ‘rufusenik’ by the Russian scientists.
Avoiding Apocalypse looks back at a time when Michael Gorbachev rose to power, a man respected by world leaders, his history now submerged in the Russia of today’s world and the Putin era; an era that started out well but is yet again ending in horror.
Gorbachev’s legacy, along with the scientists who bravely stood up to the “State’, many imprisoned for their stance, saw the end of the Cold War and eventually the dismantling of the Soviet Union.
Not a long read Avoiding Apocalypse, is an excellent, fascinating and very relevant read for today’s world.