Cockcroft on the “dark side”

Are nuclear bombs linked to reactors? An ancient question. One aspect of this is covered in a very low-key speech given by Nobel laureate Sir John Cockcroft in 1948:

Nor have I spoken about the dark side of the picture – the Atomic Bomb. Workers in atomic energy are indeed always aware of this potential danger of their work. They feel, however, that the problems cannot be solved by a retreat into Ivory Towers forgetting the rest of the world. We have to explore the field to the limits of our ability and available resources, for only by knowledge and the wisdom which comes from full knowledge can our country be guided through the dangers ahead.


Cockcroft, John. 1948. The Peaceful Applications of Atomic Energy. AB 6/145, National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom.