One of my environmental and nuclear whistleblower heroes died in 2007, and I just found out last night. As JFK said during the Cuban Missile Crisis, "There's always some poor S.O.B who doesn't get the word."
In 1981-2, at UNION CARBIDE's government-owned, contractor-operated Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the career of Dr. Steven B. Gough, a promising young scientist was demolished when he took what were called "unauthorized water and soil samples." Dr. Gough's lawyer was Oak Ridge civil rights lawyer Dorothy Stulberg. I first met Dr. Gough at a Congressional investigative hearing, on-stage at the Oak Ridge Museum of Science and Atomic Energy on July 11, 1983; we were both sworn to tell the truth as witnesses before then-Reps. Al Gore, Jr. and Marilyn Lloyd.
While researching an article on the Oak Ridge Y-12 mercury polllution, I found Dr. Gough's obituary, from 2007. My heart goes out to his family and friends, and my anger persists for his ruined career, for the putative scientific "sin" of seeking better data and questioning oligarchic orthodoxy, including (my favorite) taking "unauthorized soil samples" and sharing them with his brother, a USGS scientist, thereby leading to the unravelling of a decades-long criminal coverup of environmental crimes on our Oak Ridge Reservation. Truly heroic.
For context, I've added historic articles on our Oak RIdge Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Plant pollution declassification scoop:
From Fredericksburg, VA Free-Lance Star, 2017:
STEPHEN GOUGH OBITUARY
Stephen B. Gough
Dr. Stephen Bradford Gough, 56, of Fredericksburg died Monday, July 9, 2007, at his home. He was the son of the late Clifford Lea and Elizabeth Phillips Gough and is survived by his mother, Mary Rankin Gough, of New Castle, Ind.
Dr. Gough had obtained the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America and was a graduate of Caroll College in Waukesha, Wis. He was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Gough had taught at both Germanna Community College and Mary Washington College, and was a member of Sigma XI. He had a great love for his family, the environment, nature and photography.
Survivors include his wife, Ursula Gough; two daughters, Jennifer Ann Catalano and her husband, David, of Blacksburg and Lisa Marie Morisco and her husband, Jason, of Floyd; one son, Christopher Michael Gough, and his wife, Meghan, of Columbus, Ohio; two stepdaughters, Emily Ann Fitzgerald and Heather Marie Fitzgerald, both of Fredericksburg; one stepson, Robert Lee Fitzgerald of Baltimore, Md.; granddaughter, Anna Elizabeth Gough of Columbus; grandson, Andrew Michael Fitzgerald of Fredericksburg; one sister, Betty Jane Meadows and her husband, Bud, of Denver, Colo.; and two brothers, James Allen Gough and his wife, Deborah, of Atlanta, Ga., and Larry Phillips Gough and his wife, Sharon, of Reston.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, July 13, at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg, with Pastor Debbie Carey officiating. Burial will be private. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service time.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Stephen Bradford Gough to World Wildlife Fund, worldwildlife.org or 800/225-5993.
Online guest book at covenantfuneralservice.com.
From The New York Times: