Bernie Cohen


Bernard Leonard Cohen (1924-2012) received his education at Case-Western Reserve University (B.S. 1944), University of Pittsburgh (M.Sc. 1947), and Carnegie-Mellon University (D.Sc. 1950). Cohen was a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh from 1958-2012. He was a staunch opponent to the so called Linear no-threshold model (LNT) which postulates that there is no safe threshold for radiation exposure. Cohen wrote six books, including Heart of the Atom (1967), Concepts of Nuclear Physics (1970), Nuclear Science and Society (1974), Before It's Too Late (1983), and The Nuclear Energy Option (1990). He also wrote 135 research papers on basic nuclear physics, around 200 scientific papers on energy and environment (nuclear power, health effects of radiation, radioactive waste, risks in our society), and around 60 articles in popular magazines including National Review, Oui, Science Digest, Catholic Digest, and American Legion Magazine. Cohen received the American Physical Society Tom Bonner Prize (1981) for his nuclear physics research. He was also elected to Chairman of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics (1974–75). For his research on energy and environment, Cohen received the Health Physics Society Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, the American Nuclear Society Walter Zinn Award, Public Information Award, and Special Award. He was also elected to membership in National Academy of Engineering, and to Chairman of the American Nuclear Society Division of Environmental Sciences (1980–81).