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Science Writer K.C. Cole to Give Talk at Brookhaven Lab on Physicist Frank Oppenheimer, October 13

Photo of Cole

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. K. C. Cole

UPTON, NY —Science writer K.C. Cole will give a talk based on her recent book, Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up, at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory on Tuesday, October 13, at 4 p.m. in Berkner Hall. Sponsored by Brookhaven Women in Science, the talk is free and open to the public. Visitors to the Laboratory age 16 and over must bring a photo ID.

Cole will discuss the extraordinary life of her late mentor, Frank Oppenheimer (1912-1985), physicist, cattle rancher, teacher and founder of the Exploratorium, a hands-on museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco. He was the younger brother of J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as “the father of the atomic bomb.”

Frank Oppenheimer was, in Cole’s words “a pacifist building an atomic bomb, a physicist exiled from science because of his outspoken efforts to stop the madness, a New York Jew raising cattle and teaching high school in the Colorado mountains.” These experiences, as well as his lifelong passion for art and science, became the basis for a “museum of human awareness”—the Exploratorium, which has been imitated all over the world.

Cole will recount not just Frank Oppenheimer’s journey, but also the story of how she herself, a young political writer who thought an accelerator was a gas pedal, stumbled on Oppenheimer’s Exploratorium, fell in love with physics, and got hooked on science for life.

K.C. Cole is a long-time science writer for the Los Angeles Times and currently a professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism. She is the author of eight nonfiction books and articles in publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Smithsonian, Newsweek, Esquire, and The Washington Post. Her work was featured in the Best American Science Writing 2004 and 2005 and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2002. Cole hosts an irregular series of events called “Categorically Not!” exploring connections among science, art, politics and other topics at the Santa Monica Art Studios. She is also a year-end commentator for National Public Radio’s “Science Friday” and BBC’s “World Service.”

Call 631 344-2345 for more information. Brookhaven Lab is located on William Floyd Parkway, one-and-a-half miles north of Exit 68 of the Long Island Expressway.

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