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Redefining Science

Scientists, the National Security State, and Nuclear Weapons in Cold War America

Paul Rubinson (author)

ISBN: 9781625342430

Publication Date: Feb 2017

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

The Cold War forced scientists to reconcile their values of internationalism and objectivity with the increasingly militaristic uses of scientific knowledge. Redefining Science shows that the US government achieved a Cold War “consensus” by active opposition to powerful dissenters and helps explain the current, uneasy relationship between scientists, the public, and government in debates over security, energy, and climate change.
£101.00

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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.

Pages 320
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 28 Feb 2017
Publisher University of Massachusetts Press
Series Culture, Politics, and the Cold War
Subject/s Politics & Government   History of the Americas   Political science & theory   The Cold War   Nuclear weapons   Freedom of information & freedom of speech   Armed conflict  
Paul Rubinson is assistant professor of history at Bridgewater State University.

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