14 iii 11, 2:30 PM GMTWhen I speculated that Dr. Science, the author of Saturday’s nuclear puff piece might have his PhD in public relations, I was half joking. Well OK, I did have a hunch. His name is Josef Oehmen. So then I came across this comment left on a web page with that article:
“Dr. Josef Oehmen appears to specialize in a narrow area of business administration, which has nothing to do with either physics or nuclear engineering. His publications I could find deal with risks in supply chains and with new product development – two traditional areas of marketing.”
Oehmen’s Saturday article is all over the net, it’s gone viral, and it’s virtually the only thing one can find by that author, accounting for a large majority of the three thousand search hits on his name.
In other words, here is what happened: The nuclear industry needed an immediate response piece to Fukushima, in order to keep after-hours stock prices from crashing over the weekend, and to give time for Japanese workers to bring the reactors under control. So that article was written by people inside the industry and then they shopped around for a no-baggage guy with an MIT credential. Then it appears that every company in the industry reposted and linked to that article over the weekend, with messages to employees and media shills to do likewise.
The story of that article is itself a great case study in the manipulation of public opinion and stock market prices.
— Geoffrey Sea
Geoffrey Sea holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Science from Harvard. He did graduate work in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and in radiological health physics at San Jose State University. He is co-founder of Southern Ohio Neighbors Group, which successfully defeated plans for the centralized storage of spent nuclear fuel at Piketon, Ohio. He has published in the American Scholar, the Columbia Journalism Review, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and many newspapers. He can be contacted via email at SargentsPigeon@aol.com