The Neutron's Children: Nuclear Engineers and the Shaping of Identity

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9780199692118: The Neutron's Children: Nuclear Engineers and the Shaping of Identity

The first nuclear engineers emerged from the Manhattan Project in the USA, UK and Canada, but remained hidden behind security for a further decade. Cosseted and cloistered by their governments, they worked to explore applications of atomic energy at a handful of national labs. This unique bottom-up history traces how the identities of these unusually voiceless experts - forming a uniquely state-managed discipline - were shaped in the context of pre-war nuclear physics, wartime industrial management, post-war politics and utopian energy programmes. Even after their eventual emergence at universities and companies, nuclear workers carried the enduring legacy of their origins. Their shared experiences shaped not only their identities, but our collective memories of the late twentieth century. And as illustrated by the Fukushima accident seven decades after the Manhattan project began, this book explains why they are still seen conflictingly as selfless heroes or as mistrusted guardians of a malevolent genie.

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About the Author:


Sean Johnston is Reader in History of Science and Technology at the University of Glasgow, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Chartered Physicist (Institute of Physics).

He has worked as a scientist, researcher and development manager at North American and British firms and at the University of Leeds, and as an historian at the Universities of York and Glasgow.

Johnston is a recipient of the Paul Bunge Prize of the Hans R. Jenemann Foundation, administered by the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, for the history of scientific instruments and of the George E. Davis Medal of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, for a history of chemical engineering co-written with Colin Divall, and has been International Scholar of the Society for the History of Technology.

He lives in southern Scotland, where he teaches and researches the historical, social and philosophical aspects of science and technology.

Review:

Review from previous edition: "This is a masterful, very recommendable study on the building of nuclear expertise - not only since the catastrophes of Chernobyl and Fukushima a topic of prime importance to scientists and technologists, professionals, politicians, and in fact to all of us. Historiographically Johnston combines social and cultural history with labour and political history, successfully weaving in insights from science and technology studies and from a practice-oriented history of science and technology. His book will become a classic for all of these fields." --Klaus Hentschel, Historical Institute of the University of Stuttgart

"I enthusiastically recommend this fascinating study of nuclear engineering, which documents its development from its diverse origins in secret laboratories in the United States, Britain, and Canada during the Second World War, through its vital transformation in the international political arena during the first postwar decade, and culminates later in its maturation as a discipline through the commercialization of nuclear power, each stage of which entailed profound scientific, technical, institutional, educational, and sociopolitical consequences that affect our lives today." --Roger H. Stuewer, University of Minnesota

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first nuclear engineers emerged from the Manhattan Project in the USA, UK and Canada, but remained hidden behind security for a further decade. Cosseted and cloistered by their governments, they worked to explore applications of atomic energy at a handful of national labs. This unique bottom-up history traces how the identities of these unusually voiceless experts - forming a uniquely state-managed discipline - were shaped in the context of pre-war nuclear physics, wartime industrial management, post-war politics and utopian energy programmes. Even after their eventual emergence at universities and companies, nuclear workers carried the enduring legacy of their origins. Their shared experiences shaped not only their identities, but our collective memories of the late twentieth century. And as illustrated by the Fukushima accident seven decades after the Manhattan project began, this book explains why they are still seen conflictingly as selfless heroes or as mistrusted guardians of a malevolent genie. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199692118

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The first nuclear engineers emerged from the Manhattan Project in the USA, UK and Canada, but remained hidden behind security for a further decade. Cosseted and cloistered by their governments, they worked to explore applications of atomic energy at a handful of national labs. This unique bottom-up history traces how the identities of these unusually voiceless experts - forming a uniquely state-managed discipline - were shaped in the context of pre-war nuclear physics, wartime industrial management, post-war politics and utopian energy programmes. Even after their eventual emergence at universities and companies, nuclear workers carried the enduring legacy of their origins. Their shared experiences shaped not only their identities, but our collective memories of the late twentieth century. And as illustrated by the Fukushima accident seven decades after the Manhattan project began, this book explains why they are still seen conflictingly as selfless heroes or as mistrusted guardians of a malevolent genie. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199692118

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