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Director Robert Stone to Present Film, Panel Discussion on Nuclear Dilemma

January 9, 2014

Jan. 13 Update: Bill McKibben will join director Robert Stone for a panel discussion following the screening of "Pandora's Promise."

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The atomic bomb and meltdowns like Fukushima have made nuclear power synonymous with global disaster. Director Robert Stone challenges this image in his film Pandora’s Promise, asking whether nuclear power can save our planet from a climate catastrophe while meeting the world’s rapidly growing energy needs.

Stone, a multi-award-winning, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, will present a screening of Pandora’s Promise on Thursday, January 16, at 3:00 p.m. in Middlebury College’s Dana Auditorium. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring divergent expert opinions on nuclear power and the environment. The event is free and open to the public.

According to Rich Wolfson, Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics at Middlebury and one of the event’s organizers, “Nuclear power presents a dilemma that divides environmentalists. For some, it’s an unacceptable energy source that risks disastrous accidents and saddles humanity with thousands of years of radioactive waste. For others, it’s the only carbon-free energy technology that’s proven to work at the scales needed to replace the coal that generates much of the world's electricity.”

In his controversial 2013 film, Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process.

Ray Rothrock, parent of a 2012 Middlebury College graduate, served as an executive producer of the film, an audience favorite at the Sundance Film Festival.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Jonathan Isham, professor of economics and director of the Environmental Studies Program at Middlebury. Panelists will include Stone, the film’s director; Bill McKibben, environmentalist, author, and Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College; Evelyn Bromet, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University; Charles Ferguson, president of the Federation of American Scientists; and Peter Bradford, former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and current adjunct professor at Vermont Law School.

The event is sponsored by the Office of the President, Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Program in Environmental Studies, and Department of Physics.

For more information, contact Janet Wiseman at 802-443-5710 or jwiseman@middlebury.edu.