As a matter of fact, he is a nuclear engineer. And through all of the titles Albert Carnesale has taken on in the upper reaches of academia — professor and provost of Harvard and dean of its Kennedy School, chancellor of UCLA, where he is still a professor — one thread has been a constant: his work on the science and the political science of matters nuclear, both peaceable and belligerent. He now serves on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, which presents its draft report to President Obama at the end of this month. Its task is to make recommendations on just about everything touching nuclear power and fuel in this country. And he recently wrapped up work on the Committee on America's Climate Choices, analyzing the options in a climate-changing world. His joke bomb clock freaked out more than one Secret Service agent scoping out his Harvard office in advance of visits from various dignitaries. It's also a reminder of how our clock — the nation's clock, humanity's clock — is ticking away.
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