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Gregory Benford

June 28, 2008
Re "Resetting Earth's thermostat," Opinion, June 23 Samuel Thernstrom's survey of geo-engineering is correct, yet many scientists still oppose even researching its possibilities. I took part in several of the conferences he describes. The most striking work came not from climate scientists but from economists, including a Nobelist. No economist thought the carbon dioxide restriction strategy could work in time. Carbon caps and the like ask billions of people to act against their interests for many decades.
May 3, 1987
Elizabeth Mehren's piece on Harvard Prof. Thomas McMahon ("Scientist, Novelist: A Tradition of One," April 15) perpetuates C. P. Snow's myth of "The Two Cultures." McMahon does disservice to novelists, scientists, the intellectual community, The Times and himself by insisting that there are no other scientist novelists: "Zero . . . name one." Less than a week earlier The Times ran an obituary on the internationally famous chemist/novelist Primo Levi. A few weeks ago, an obituary praised aerospace researcher Tom Scortia, co-author of "Glass Inferno," the basis of the film "Towering Inferno."
February 19, 1986
John Tirman's biased view (Opinion, Feb. 9) of the presidential science adviser's office is more interesting for what it leaves out than for what it says. He indicts George Keyworth, the departed adviser, for strongly supporting the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and for "not voicing top scientists' pervasive doubts." Tirman apparently thinks President Reagan only gets advice from Keyworth. Actually, unlike most presidents, Reagan often goes to outside, informal bodies for advice.
September 22, 1996
In " 'Star Trek' as SF Lite" (Sept. 8), Gregory Benford eloquently states the minority point of view: that "Star Trek" has done more to diminish than enhance most people's ability to achieve any insight into the starkly awesome but distinctly discomforting and dislocating implications of our so far meager venturings beyond our own planet. Aside from reducing the cosmos to fireside coziness, making it accessible to those who want their assumptions vindicated, it simply displaces the Wild West with another exotic backdrop: a comfortingly geocentric universe, defined entirely within a megalomania for meaningless gadgetry and "aliens" with mundanely human characteristics.
February 13, 1994 | Nora Zamichow
Fred Flintstone powered his car with his own feet. Speed Racer drove the Special Formula Mark Five. The Jetsons flew rocket ships. Wonder Woman piloted an invisible aircraft. Captain James Kirk beamed up to the star ship Enterprise. Captain Video hopped a rocket named Galaxy. Captain Midnight flew the Sky King to battle the evil Tut and Ickky. It's not that these characters faced snarls of traffic on the freeways.
March 8, 1998 | DENNIS McLELLAN
Retired Orange County private investigator Joyce Spizer will discuss her first mystery novel, "The Cop Was White as Snow," at the Round Table West luncheon at noon Friday at the Balboa Bay Club, 1221 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach. Spizer, now a La Quinta resident, will be joined on the speakers panel by science fiction legend Ray Bradbury, who will discuss his new book, "A Medicine for Melancholy & Other Stories," and Rochelle Krich, author of "Fertile Ground." Cost: $35.
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