A role for HLS in the development of ‘clean’ nuclear energy
The note from Dean Martha Minow in the Summer 2011 edition of the Harvard Law Bulletin favorably comments on the “center stage” role of the law school’s graduates in “developing innovative technologies” for “the nation’s future and the welfare of the world.” Any even part-time reader of the news knows of the disastrous earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown that devastated Japan. Many who may read more thoroughly will have learned that the radiation disaster still plaguing that nation would have been averted if the nuclear reactor had been fueled with thorium instead of uranium. Our planet is still paying for the “Cold War” decision made so many years ago to use uranium for its bomb-making capabilities instead of thorium in its nuclear reactors.
If Harvard Law School wishes to lead the way as the pre-eminent educational institution in the country, it should cooperatively work with the university’s physicists, its Business School and Kennedy School to find a way to engineer, permit, and finance safe, clean and nonproliferating thorium reactors to solve our energy problems. If you need some additional scientific help, it seems to me that MIT is just down the avenue and that there are a host of engineers across the river at Northeastern.
Harris Baseman ’55
What about the responsibility of the borrower?
In the article titled “Law on the home front” (Summer 2011), we are told the victim—Beth—was deceived by “predatory” lenders. That word appears four times in an extremely slanted article. No blame or responsibility is placed on the borrower, who receives disability income and lives in federally subsidized housing funded by taxpayer monies.
She took two mortgages totaling nearly $500,000 to purchase a tenement. Do we detect an element of greed here? It appears the victim should have consulted a lawyer from the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau before she made the purchase.
R.J. McMahon ’45
A gravestone does as much
Because I have enjoyed the Harvard Law Bulletin for many years and hope to enjoy it for several more years, I must tell you that the recent truncating of your obituaries is a dreadful mistake.
Your current (Summer 2011) issue notes the passing of five people I once considered friends. You’ve told me the dates they died (a gravestone does as much), but what were the highlights of their lives?
I believe that our current demotion—so typical of this mechanistic age—is bad for us alums. I am certain it will be bad for the law school. Doing the obits the way you used to and the Harvard Magazine still does them must be a hassle, but, trust me, they are worth it. You will do us both a favor if you restore them.
Malcolm H. Bell ’58
From the editors: We appreciate your thoughtful letter and active readership. As of this issue, we are including links to newspaper obituaries in the online version of In Memoriam. In the near future, we will provide an online avenue for sharing remembrances.
A call to readers
David Warrington, librarian for special collections at Harvard Law School, is seeking information on graduates or students who have died in military action since World War II.
HLS plans to honor those veterans by adding their names to a plaque in Langdell Library outside the Caspersen Room, where others who have died in past wars are commemorated.
Warrington is aware of five alumni who have died in military conflict over the past six decades:
- John G. Sheehan ’48-’49, killed in Korea in 1950
- Bigelow Watts Jr. ’51, killed in Korea on June 17, 1951
- Nelson Ramon Morales ’64-’65, killed in Vietnam on Dec. 26, 1967
- Helge P. Boes ’97, killed in Afghanistan on Feb. 5, 2003
- Michael Weston ’97, killed in Afghanistan on Oct. 26, 2009
If you have information on others, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-496-2115.
Next: Ask the Professor