Secrecy in an Open Society
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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTETeller, scientist, participant in the Manhatten Project 1941-1951, winner of several science awards including Enrico Fermi and Albert Einstein awards, lecturer previously at University of London, George Washington University, and University of Chicago. Author, "The Structure of Matter" (1948), "Our Nuclear Future" (1958), "The Legacy of Hiroshima" (1962, and "The Reluctant Revolutionary" (1964).ANNECDOTE Being around Dr. Edward Teller made me a potential believer in the Kirlian Effect - the psychological study purporting to capture on photographic negatives a person's "aura" as a fuzzy halo surrounding the subject's head. In Teller's case one standing within about six inches of him senses something emanating, a power of personality if nothing else. Perhaps he has captured in a rare nonlethal form the subject of his life's study: nuclear energy.SUMMARY The "father of the nuclear bomb" is both scientist and a national security official of U.S. government. He visited Committees on Foreign Relations to share his beliefs on the proper role of government secrecy: that government should hold nothing secret longer than one year - because by then any spy who wanted it had already learned it and, thus, the information was secret only from U.S. voters.