by Will Davis
Yesterday, we had one of the nicer yet stranger events during this wholly strange time – that is, the meeting of the American Nuclear Society’s Book Publishing Committee, of which yours truly is the Vice Chair. I say “nicer” because I always look forward to these meetings, given the opportunity they afford to interact with some of ANS’ finest people and the fact that these meetings really get things done. I say “stranger” because it was a Zoom meeting and not face to face, around a table. What’s even more impacting for me is the fact that the BPC meeting usually is the first event I attend at ANS’ Annual and Winter meetings and it serves, thus, as the best possible kickoff for me. November, maybe. Maybe.
During the meeting many interesting discussions took place, including the fact that time-honored nuclear engineering texts are frequently the ANS top sellers, year after year. We discussed another kind of book at another point and a question was asked if that kind of book had ever been done before. My answer was “yes, in about 1975″ … but later in the meeting the two sorts of subjects merged for me and I wrote myself a note saying “what was oldest nuclear textbook take a look” (sic.)
I cannot swear solidly to the fact but for now the book you see here is my candidate. This book was titled “The Science and Engineering of Nuclear Power,” and was published in 1947. Of the hundreds of books here on the subject it’s the oldest.
First off, the book is actually a collection of carefully curated materials resulting from a string of seminars presented at MIT starting in October 1946. So, the book has not one author but rather authors of each section or chapter – and
by Will Davis