The control of intra–atomic energy by means of the nuclear fission chain reaction must be accounted one of the finest purely intellectual accomplishments of humanity.
That the energy so liberated now lights and heats homes, and turns the wheels of industry, from Argentina to Korea, is a true sign of hope in our times.
Human civilization is rapidly approaching a series of crises that can be managed only through some radical departures in Man’s dealings with the relationship between energy and matter. Nuclear energy holds one key — a crucial one — to the successful resolution of these crises. Without it there is no doubt that civilization, as we know it, would slowly grind to a halt. With it, not only will we be able to raise a greater part of the world’s people to a decent standard of living, but we will be able to move all mankind ahead into an era of new human advancement — human advancement which takes place in harmony with the natural environment that must support it.—Glenn T Seaborg and William R Corliss, foreword to Man and Atom, 1971 April