Book ID: CBB001251190

The Neutron's Children: Nuclear Engineers and the Shaping of Identity (2012)


Johnston, Sean F. (Author)

Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 2012
Physical Details: xi + 313 pp.; ill.; bibl.; index
Language: English

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.

Reviewed By

Review Olwell, Russell (2013) Review of "The Neutron's Children: Nuclear Engineers and the Shaping of Identity". Technology and Culture (pp. 692-694). unapi

Essay Review Wilson, Benjamin (2013) The Professionalization of Nuclear Engineering. Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (pp. 629-632). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Cronon, William
Staley, Richard A.
Loo, Tina
Keller, Richard C.
Norris, Robert S.
Weinberger, Sharon
Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy
Environmental History
Journal of Cold War Studies
Space and Defense
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
The Chemical Educator
Steerforth Press
Nation Books
Princeton University Press
Dana Press
The MIT Press
Science and war; science and the military
Science and politics
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
Engineering, nuclear
Manhattan Project
Public policy
Groves, Leslie R.
Hinton, Christopher, Lord
Rosenberg, Julius
Kamen, Martin David
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
United States
Great Britain
Soviet Union
New Mexico (U.S.)
Hanford Nuclear Site (Washington)
Royal Society of London

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