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On our previous broadcast, Tony Dokoupil of CBS News was telling us about James Conant, the American scientist who oversaw the creation of the first atomic bomb during World War II.
His granddaughter, Jennet Conant, has written a book about him – titled “Man of the Hour.”
More after this…
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Tony Dokoupil and Jennet Conant take us back to when her grandfather James Conant was present for the dawn of the nuclear age…
VO – Tony Dokoupil, CBS News Correspondent
“What happened in the summer of 1945 was the first open-air test of a nuclear weapon, a blast so shocking that Conant – from a nearby bunker – was sure the team had miscalculated.”
SOT – James Conant, with Tony Dokoupil
“(Dokoupil:) And he thought, in that moment: The world is over. (Conant:) He did. Terrifying. Absolutely terrifying.”
VO – Tony Dokoupil
“Just three weeks later, Hiroshima – and then, Nagasaki – still the only wartime use of a nuclear weapon. Hundreds of thousands died in the blasts and their aftermath.”
SOT – Jennet Conant
“People always ask me: Did they feel guilty? They really felt that they had done the right thing in building the bomb. It did shorten the war. It did save lives.”
VO – Tony Dokoupil
“And yet, Conant and his colleagues warned of the need to control the bomb – by sharing the science and striking a global deal to curtail production. But the scientists were overruled – and today…”
SOT – Jennet Conant, with Tony Dokoupil
“(Dokoupil:) Do you feel safer or less safe? (Conant:) Oh, we’re less safe. We have this massive destructive force out there – and ultimately, he said, we have no sane option but to come together and try and find a way to control these weapons.”
The Osgood File. I’ll see you online at Facebook, Twitter and at theosgoodfile.com. This is Charles Osgood.