Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Atom-smasher paranoia leads to death threats

Yesterday, Pound360 described how some people are terrified by the European Organization for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) soon-to-be activated Large Hadron Collider (LHC). So terrified they’ve taken the group to court (but to no avail).

But the terror has reached a new level of madness,
reports the Telegraph (UK). According to the article, one LHC Scientist (Nobel prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek) has received death threats because of his involvement with the LHC. Also, CERN’s head of PR has received “tearful phone calls” pleading for a halt to the program. And the group is bombarded by emails “that beg for reassurance that the world will not end,” or simply attack the project. "You are evil and dangerous and you are going to destroy the world,” one very distraught person wrote to CERN.

Scientists on the project see it differently. “What we are doing is enriching humanity, not putting it at risk."

Pound360 would like to remind everyone that there are Nobel prize-winning scientists working on projects at the LHC. This isn’t being driven by Halliburton, okay? Furthermore, "nature has already conducted the equivalent of about a hundred thousand LHC experimental programs on Earth - and the planet still exists," read an LHC Safety Assessment Group report.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.