Ackland, Len

Ackland, Len
Ackland, Len, interviewee; Ciarlo, Dorothy D., interviewer;
Date Recorded:
Date digitized:
Length of interview:

Len Ackland, a journalist and journalism professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, talks about his career and more particularly, his involvement from the 1970s to 2000 in reporting about nuclear weapons in the United States. His writing covers scientific, technological, environmental, social, historical, and ethical issues and concerns relating to nuclear weapons and their production. He discusses in-depth the research and writing of his book, Making a Real Killing: Rocky Flats and the Nuclear West [2000] that provides insight into the history and controversies relating to this nuclear weapons plant in the Denver area.


People: Len Ackland (Associate Professor of Journalism at CU and author of “Making a Real Killing: Rocky Flats and the Nuclear West” 1999), Marcus Church (rancher), Ed Johnson (US Senator from Colorado), Jim Kelly (union president), Ed Martell (scientist from NCAR), Charlie McKay (rancher and developer), Eugene Millikin (US Senator from Colorado), Hazel O’Leary (Secretary of Department of Energy)


Places: Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant


Subjects: personal background including volunteer work in Vietnam, Cervi’s Journal (Denver), Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, framework he brings to writing the book (local history of the area, responsibilities of journalism, nuclear weapons issues, “national security”, international arena, Cold War competition), political history of the placement of Rocky Flats, making the history readable, secrecy at Rocky Flats, greater openness during the tenure of Hazel O’Leary, responsibilities and problems of journalism, short-term thinking, the problem of Rocky Flats, effects of the protests, democracy and “national security”, importance of information, watchdog role of the media.


Boulder (Colo.) History.
Original Format:
Supplemental material available in OH file.
Local call number:
Copyright restrictions applying to the use or reproduction of oral history interviews are available from the Carnegie Branch Library for Local History/Boulder Public Library.
, , , ,