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Distillations | Science History Institute

294 EpisodesProduced by Science History InstituteWebsite

Each episode of Distillations podcast takes a deep-dive into a moment of science-related history in order to shed light on the present.

44:21

Fogs of War: The Many Lives of Chemical Weapons

Chemical weapons have played a chilling role in human history, ever since they were first used in World War I.  As reports of more recent use continue to cycle through the news, we decided to take a deeper look.  We wanted to understand why chemical weapons were created in the first place, the ethical dilemmas inherent in their use, and the complicated process of getting rid of them.


The story begins in Belgium, where reporter Helena de Groot visits a farm in Flanders Fields—the frontline during World War I—and discovers that for some people the war isn’t yet over.


Then we talk to Jeffrey Johnson, a historian of science and technology at Villanova University with a special interest in the origins of chemical warfare, and Amy E. Smithson, a senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, who specializes in modern-day chemical and biological weapons and their proliferation. Our guests discuss the past and present of chemical weapons, and share their thoughts about the future of warfare.


SHOW CLOCK:


00:03 Introduction


01:10 Cleaning up Flanders Fields


08:56 Interview with Amy E. Smithson and Jeffrey Johnson


CREDITS:


Hosts: Michal Meyer and Bob Kenworthy


Guests: Amy E. Smithson and Jeffrey Johnson


Reporter: Helena de Groot


Producer & Editor: Mariel Carr


Music courtesy of the Audio Network, the Free Music Archive and Mobygratis.com.


 


Check out Distillations magazine at distillations.org, where you'll find articles, videos, and our podcast.

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