Chauncey Starr

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Chauncey Starr was born on April 14, 1912 in Newark (NJ).[1] [2] and died April 17 2007. He is recognised as the 'father' of Risk Analysis/Assessment, and as an important figure in the promotion of nuclear power

He received an electrical engineering degree in 1932 and a Ph.D. in physics in 1935 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and then became a research fellow in physics at Harvard University. Later he worked with Oppenheimer on the Manhattan project (atomic bomb development) and after the war he designed nuclear reactors, including the first reactor in space.

Starr was Vice President of Rockwell International and President of its Atomic International Division. In 1967 he became the Dean of the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science. Two years later he published an article in Science magazine which promoted the concept of risk-benefit analysis in the regulation of dangerous products -- a concept which became popular with economists and with large corporations and trade groups having poisoning and polluting problems. This article played a foundation role in the creation of the Society of Risk Analysis [3] and led to consulting roles for industry groups [4] [5].

In 1972 he was recruited to establish the 'Electric Power Research Institute' (EPRI) which conducts research of different kinds (particulaly nuclear energy), while also becoming the electrical power industry's main lobby group. He was the EPRI's first president, and he coined the term "nuclear hypochondriacs" to describe those opposed to the use of nuclear technology. The announcement of his appointment said:

"Dean Chauncey Starr announces in late 1972 that he will accept a position as president of the Electric Power Research Institute effective Jan. 1, 1973. The Institute is a non-profit organization financed by all segments of the electric power utility industry to undertake technical research end development in the energy field and to help establish long range national plans on power technology." [6]

After Floyd L. Culler took over the helm, Starr became President Emeritus of EPRI; a position he held until his death.

Chauncey Starr was a member of the Board of Directors at the George C. Marshall Institute which is largely funded by the nuclear power and space-weapons development industries. Along with his old associate Frederick Seitz and many others at this Institute, he was a prominent climate-change denier. He was also a member of the Board of Science Advisors of S. Fred Singer's Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and, like most other members of that board, he signed the Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change. Since both SEPP and the EPRI receive extensive funding form the oil industry, it is strange that he signed a declaration starting with "As independent scientists concerned with atmospheric and climate problems ..."

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