Weapons of mass destruction: Part 1 of 2

Emblems of weapons of mass destruction (© Wikipedia)

“Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real”: Jules Verne probably never imagined how right he was when he wrote those words. At the start of the last century, the notion of a weapon so powerful that it could destroy humanity was beyond comprehension.

Just over 40 years later, it would become reality with the building of the first atomic bomb. And what about the people who created the gadget? What kind of a person would choose to work on such a monstrous project? It’s easy to think they were men without conscience, prepared to unleash the power of the split atom in exchange for personal power and fame. But in reality many joined the project convinced that they could help to keep this destructive genie in its bottle. One of them was Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005).

Producer: Michele Ernsting

Broadcast: May 30, 2003