Sunday, April 26, 2015

Appendix to a Lecture on Science in the Cold War

I've been asked to give a guest lecture on US Science in the Cold War at Washington State University - Tri Cities, and there are a number of links I would like to recommend to those students if they want to follow up on particular topics. So, I'm making this post, and will link to it from lecture.

I'm aiming for general interest and supplementing examples I'm using in the lecture, rather than being thorough or academically rigorous. I'd be happy to provide specific suggested readings on other topics.

First of all, an outline and terms for the lecture:

Suggested Readings

Audra Wolfe - Competing with the Soviets - good overall survey of this material (

Daniel Kevles - The Physicists - especially the second edition's preface on the history of the cancellation of the planned Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) project in the 1990s (

Loren Graham - Science in Russia and the Soviet Union (

Richard Rhodes - Making of the Atomic Bomb (

Hevly and Findlay (eds) - The Atomic West (

On anti-nuclear history, using pun-based titles:
Thomas Wellock - Critical Masses (
Brian Balogh - Chain Reaction (
Hugh Gusterson - Nuclear Rites (

Suggested Films

The Day After Trinity ( - An excellent documentary about Robert Oppenheimer and the trial in which his security clearance was revoked 

Secrecy ( - a documentary by historian of science Peter Galison and Robb Moss about the enormous amount of classified science created each year

Peter Galison speaking about memoralizing nuclear waste, an issue of special significance to the Tri Cities area:

Suggested Podcasts

History of Modern Physics by Cathryn Carson ( - an entire course's lectures on the history of physics 

BBC's In Our Time often has great episodes on history of science topics, include an episode on nuclear science (

Suggested Music

Billy Hughes & His Buckaroos - Atomic Sermon (

Ozie Waters - Old Man Atom (

Sir Lancelot - Atomic Energy (

Golden Gate Quartet - Atom and Evil (

Tom Lehrer - Wernher von Braun (

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