Let’s Talk About Energy

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the United States Atomic Energy Commission released at least six records : three volumes entitled Let’s Talk About the Atom, one entitled Let’s Talk About Energy, one entitled Atomic Year 25, and one entitled Century of the Atom. The last–named was given away to visitors to the US display at the 1971 Geneva “Atoms for Development” conference. The other five were intended for broadcast on radio stations as public–affairs programming.

Atomic Year 25 is a single half–hour program, commemorating the anniversary of the first controlled fission chain reaction (2 December 1942), whereas the Let’s Talk… records are 3–LP sets, each with two 10–minute programs per side. The general format of the Let’s Talk… programs is that an announcer (credited on this release as John Flynn) introduces Ed Ronne of Argonne National Laboratory, who then interviews an eminent scientist employed by the USAEC about his specialty.

I have been making an attempt to acquire these records (and whatever similar ones may exist), as I have with atomic energy public information films, and printed materials of similar character. As I acquire and transcribe them, I will have them available for use as “fillers” in my aNONradio shows.

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Century of the Atom

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the United States Atomic Energy Commission released at least six records : three volumes entitled Let’s Talk About the Atom, one entitled Let’s Talk About Energy, one entitled Atomic Year 25, and one entitled Century of the Atom.

While the others were produced for radio broadcast use, this last was given away to visitors to the US exhibit at the 1971 (Fourth) Geneva Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, known as the “Atoms for Development” conference. The record, narrated by Chet Huntley and Glenn Seaborg, tells the story of the development of atomic science and nuclear energy, beginning with the work of John Dalton in Britain, the founder of modern atomic theory. The voices of JJ Thomson, Lord Rutherford, Albert Einstein, and other noteworthy scientists can be heard. The double LP in its gatefold jacket was accompanied by a lavishly–illustrated book, which transcribes the dialogue from the record and translates it into French, Spanish, and Russian, and also by a wall–chart timeline, all enclosed in a slipcase box.

I have been making an attempt to acquire these records (and whatever similar ones may exist), as I have with atomic energy public information films, and printed materials of similar character. You can listen here to my transcription of this one. Each side is only about 12 minutes, so the two platters fit easily into a single hour time slot. It has not been cleaned up, although I will presumably do that in the future.