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.
Ronald Mickens is a physicist who currently teaches at Clark Atlanta University. He is a prominent voice amongst the African American scientific community, and has written several works documenting the feats of previous black physicists. He was friendly with several African-American scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, including J. Ernest Wilkins, and describes their careers and the racism they faced.
Cindy Kelly: I'm Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Wednesday, April 25, 2018. I am in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with Zane Bell. My first question to you is to say your full name and spell it.
Zane Bell: Zane Bell. Zulu, Alpha, November, Echo, Bravo, Echo, Lima, Lima.
Kelly: Okay, good. First, I want to know something about you and your childhood—where you are from, and how you got to be interested in science.
Zane Bell is a senior scientist and physicist who works in radiation detection and scintillator development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
[Many thanks to Jonathan Sheline for donating this video to the Atomic Heritage Foundation.]
Raymond Sheline: This talk today gives me a certain amount of anxiety, because it’s different than any other chemistry talk I’ve ever given. First of all, it’s kind of autobiographical, and that’s always a little embarrassing. Secondly, it’s maybe more nearly the history of science than science itself. However, it is appropriate, because we’re just fifty years since the testing and dropping of the atom bomb in 1945.
Raymond Sheline was a chemist at Columbia University and a member of the Special Engineer Detachment at Oak Ridge and Los Alamos.
Sheline received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1949 and was a professor at Florida State University for 48 years. Among other accomplishments, he helped establish a nuclear chemistry lab at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen and published more than 400 scientific papers. He died on February 10, 2016 in Fort Meyers, FL.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. I have with me David Holcomb. First question for David is to say his name and spell it.
David Holcomb: My name’s David Holcomb, D-a-v-i-d H-o-l-c-o-m-b.
Kelly: Terrific. Now, I want to know something about yourself—where you’re from, when you were born, and then what sparked your interest in science.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Wednesday, April 25th, 2018. I have with me Julie Ezold. My first question is to have Julie tell us her name and spell it.
Julie Ezold: Julie Ezold, E-z-o-l-d.
Kelly: Great. Thank you, Julie. All right. First, we want to learn something about you—where you’re from, and something about your childhood or what got you started in wanting to become a scientist.
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.