Hecker's book wins national award

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Russian and American team members are setting up a high-temperature magnetized plasma formation experiment at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center VNIIEF in Sarov, Russia, in September 1995.
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Siegfried Hecker

Siegfried Hecker won a national award this week from the American Association for State and Local History for his book, Doomed to Cooperate. Subtitled "How American and Russian Scientists Joined Forces to Avert Some of the Great Post–Cold War Nuclear Dangers," the work tells the story of nuclear scientists from two former enemy nations who reached across political, geographic and cultural divides to solve the new nuclear threats that resulted from the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

The two-volume set, edited by Hecker, a CISAC senior fellow and Los Alamos National Laboratory director emeritus, describes the lab-to-lab collaboration involving more than 100 scientists and leaders through papers, vignettes, and interviews. The book illustrates the challenges they faced, the friendships resulting from the collaborations, and the team's ultimate success in rendering Russian's nuclear materials and facilities safe for the world.

In a press release, Trina Nelson Thomas, the association's awards chair and director, said, “The Leadership in History Awards is AASLH’s highest distinction and the winners represent the best in the field."  

The American Association for State and Local History's awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. More information is available in this article in the Los Alamos Daily Post.