“My grandad worked on the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima. Could another man – Leo Szilard – have stopped it?“
The Bomb explores the scientific and political events that led to the development of the atomic bomb. The story focusses on scientist Leo Szilard and his role in the discovery of nuclear fission. The Bomb follows Szilard, a Hungarian exile, to his work in Berlin, London, New York and Chicago. The story also highlights his attempts to stop the use of nuclear energy in warfare.
Emily Strasser is narrator of The Bomb. Her personal connection to the development of the atomic bomb if familial in nature; Emily’s grandfather was a chemist on the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was a secret US government initiative during World War II to develop an atomic weapon before the Germans did the same.
Emily has researched and written about nuclear arms. Her work also considers the powerful effects of state regimes of secrecy, institutional structures and individual choice and action. Her personal journey to come to terms with her grandfather’s work along with her passion for meaningful change make her more than just a narrator. Listeners can expect to be asked to do more than think.
In this episode of MetaPod, we talk to Emily about what it was like to work with the BBC on The Bomb. We also hear her personal stories and opinions on the threats and choices that we face today, such as climate change and cyber warfare.
Show notes for The Bomb
About Emily Strasser
Emily Strasser is a writer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work has appeared in Catapult, Ploughshares, Guernica, The Bitter Southerner, and The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, among others, and twice been named notable in Best American Essays. She was the presenter of the 2020 BBC podcast “The Bomb.” She is working on a book about the intersection of family and national secrets in the nuclear city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.