Dr. Firestone was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in Evanston, IL where he attended Evanston Township High School. He attended The University of Michigan where he received a B.S. in Chemistry in 1967, and Michigan State University where he received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Chemistry in 1974. After a postdoctoral position at MSU, he took a faculty position there, 1978-1979, before moving to a Staff Scientist position at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he became group leader of the Isotopes Project until his retirement in 2013. Since then Dr. Firestone has been a research consultant to the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Nuclear Engineering. He also has served as a consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the US Department of Energy.
Dr. Firestone's research has spanned a broad range of interests including nuclear spectroscopy, nuclear data, prompt gamma-ray activation analysis, neutron reactions, denitrification, recent catastrophic bolide impacts on Earth, and near-Earth supernovae explosions.
He has written or edited four books:
Handbook of Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis with Neutron Beams
Database of Prompt Gamma Rays from Slow Neutron Capture for Elemental Analysis
In addition, Dr. Firestone has published over 400 research papers and his work has received over 10,000 citations.