September 9, 1996 – Mary Doria Russell’s first book The Sparrow, a science fiction novel about a disastrous Jesuit mission of first contact with aliens, is published. The novel was a bestseller thatÂ sparked intense controversy due to its theological contentÂ and became aÂ staple of book clubs worldwide. The Sparrow won numerous awards. Its sequel Children of God was also well-received.
September 9, 2003 – Theoretical physicist and “Father of the Hydrogen Bomb” Edward Teller dies in California, aged 95. Born to aÂ Jewish family in Hungary in 1908, Teller (an agnostic) was educated in Europe and eventually came to the United States in 1935. He participated in the Manhattan Project during World War II. Aftter the war, in contrast toÂ many of his colleagues, who spoke out against the development of nuclear weapons, Teller advocatedÂ for the development of the so-called hydrogen bomb (a fusion weapon far more powerful than the fission bombs used on Japan), andÂ for a strong nuclear arsenal during the Cold War. In 1957 he was one of the first prominent scientists to warn against the danger of global warming due to overuse of fossil fuels.
Got info?Â Suggest a dateÂ in freethought history!