By Neil Alexander, The Starphoenix March 25, 2015
Re: Deadly legacy (SP, March 20).
Bryan Lee's disappointment with the Saskatchewan government funding of the Fedoruk Centre appears to be rooted in a misunderstanding of the centre's activities.
To date, the bulk of the centre's investment has been in using nuclear imaging techniques to develop a better understanding of cancers and other diseases in humans, animals and plants. This complements the work of the province's universities, the cancer agency and other advanced research centres.
I invite Lee to visit the new cyclotron facility to talk with the researchers about the work they will do and the lives they believe they will save.
The centre also supports social and environmental studies regarding nuclear development, such as how to have fact-based discussions on complex scientific topics, as well as research into nuclear energy, safety and materials science using neutron beams. This work is entirely appropriate for institutions of higher learning.
Words used by Lee, such as "toxic" and "lethal" perpetuate fear and misunderstanding, which can lead to poor public decision-making. This is an issue that concerns me and I will be talking about it in the Tox on Tap series at the Woods Alehouse on April 28.
While the Fedoruk Centre has no role in the mining or sale of uranium, as a scientist concerned about the environment, I am well aware of the contribution nuclear science has made to greenhouse gas avoidance and the slowing of the onset of climate change - the biggest environmental challenge that faces our planet today.
Executive director, Fedoruk Centre Saskatoon