Eric Pierce is a senior scientist and leader of the Earth Sciences Group in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Born in New Orleans, Pierce has a Ph.D in low-temperature geochemistry from Tulane University. In this interview, Pierce describes some of the work of his team at Oak Ridge, including how contaminants and energy production byproducts such as mercury move through the environment.
Bill Wilcox: My name is Bill Wilcox. William J. Wilcox, Jr.
Cindy Kelly: And how do you spell Wilcox?
Kelly: Why was Oak Ridge chosen for the Manhattan Project?
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. It is Thursday, April 26, 2018, and I have with me Gordon Fee. Gordon, first, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about your background and how you happened to come to Oak Ridge and what you’ve done here.
Gordon Fee is the retired president of Lockheed Martin Energy Systems and the former manager of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, TN. He began working at Oak Ridge at the K-25 gaseous diffusion plant in 1956. In this interview, he describes his career at Oak Ridge, and shares stories about his work at Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In particular, he focuses on scientific developments connected with Oak Ridge, including the growth of the Nuclear Navy, the use of radioisotopes in medicine, and more.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Adam, would you please say and spell your name?
Adam Rondinone: Adam Justin Rondinone, A-d-a-m J-u-s-t-i-n Rondinone, R-o-n-d-i-n-o-n-e, and that’s Italian.
Kelly: Terrific. Adam, you’re here at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and you must be a scientist. Why don’t you tell us something about your childhood, where you were born, and how you came to be a scientist?
Adam Rondinone is an electrochemist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In this interview, Rondinone details how his childhood interest in science and Oak Ridge’s “user facilities” program led him to a job at the Laboratory. He describes several of his team’s innovation in nanotechnology, including the development of new types of energy storage and conversion systems based on nanotechnology. Rondinone also explains why he believes publicly funded science benefits society as a whole.
Nathaniel Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg. I am here with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is April 25, 2018, here in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I have with me Lee Russell.
Liane Russell: Right.
Weisenberg: My first question is if you could please say your name and spell it for me?
Russell: My full name is Liane B. Russell. It’s L-i-a-n-e, and the B stands for my maiden name, which is Brauch, B-r-a-u-c-h, Russell, R-u-s-s-e-l-l. Okay?
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. It is May 15, 2018, and I’m at the University of California, Berkeley. I have with me Trisha Pritikin, and I first want to ask her to say her name and spell it.
Trisha Pritikin: Okay. Trisha Pritikin is T-r-i-s-h-a, Pritikin is P-r-i-t-i-k-i-n.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and this is June 27, 2018. I have with me Dr. Garret Martin, and my first question for you is to say your name and spell it.
Garret Martin: My name is Garret Martin, Garret is spelled G-a-r-r-e-t and Martin M-a-r-t-i-n.
Kelly: Perfect. We always like to have people identify themselves, so maybe you could just briefly tell us about where you’re from, your life, how you got into a career of history.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, it is Tuesday, February 6, 2018. I’m in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida, and I have with me Dieter Gruen. I want him first to say his name and then spell it.
Dieter Gruen: My name is Dieter Gruen, D-i-e-t-e-r G-r-u-e-n.
Kelly: Thank you very much. Now, I want to start back to your childhood. Maybe you can tell us when you were born, and where.