Book ID: CBB073728444

Redefining Science: Scientists, the National Security State, and Nuclear Weapons in Cold War America (2016)


Rubinson, Paul (Author)

University of Massachusetts Press

Publication Date: 2016
Physical Details: 320 pages
Language: English

The Cold War forced scientists to reconcile their values of internationalism and objectivity with the increasingly militaristic uses of scientific knowledge. For decades, antinuclear scientists pursued nuclear disarmament in a variety of ways, from grassroots activism to transnational diplomacy and government science advising. The U.S. government ultimately withstood these efforts, redefining science as a strictly technical endeavor that enhanced national security and deeming science that challenged nuclear weapons on moral grounds "emotional" and patently unscientific. In response, many activist scientists restricted themselves to purely technical arguments for arms control. When antinuclear protest erupted in the 1980s, grassroots activists had moved beyond scientific and technical arguments for disarmament. Grounding their stance in the idea that nuclear weapons were immoral, they used the "emotional" arguments that most scientists had abandoned.Redefining Science shows that the government achieved its Cold War "consensus" only by active opposition to powerful dissenters and helps explain the current and uneasy relationship between scientists, the public, and government in debates over issues such as security, energy, and climate change.

Reviewed By

Review Joel Isaac (2018) Review of "Redefining Science: Scientists, the National Security State, and Nuclear Weapons in Cold War America". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 223-224). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Oreskes, Naomi
Aronova, Elena
Greene, Benjamin Patrick
Belanger, Dian Olson
Naylor, Simon
Siegert, Martin
Technology and Culture
History and Technology
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly
Science and Education
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
University of California, San Diego
Stanford University Press
University Press of Colorado
MIT Press
Texas A&M University Press
University of Chicago Press
Cold War
Science and politics
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
National security
Science and war; science and the military
International cooperation
Oppenheimer, J. Robert
Reisch, George A.
United States
Soviet Union
Polar regions
Great Britain
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
International Geophysical Year (IGY)
United States. President's Science Advisory Committee

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