Nuclear Physics: Tales of the Bomb

The Double Helix, James Watson's personalized account of the discovery of the structure of DNA, the master molecule of life, had one important side effect. It shocked many scientists into the realization that they are public figures—and fair game for biographers, critics and even gossip columnists. Last week the point was driven home again by the publication of another gossipy book, Lawrence and Oppenheimer, in which Author Nuel Pharr Davis calls the roll of America's nuclear greats. He judges them not only as scientists, but also as human beings. Some do not...