Conference/Workshop in Barcelona, May 28-29, 2018
This is a call for paper proposals for a conference on the Atoms for Peace era (ca. 1954-1965). The general focus of this conference is on public/society -- industry/government interactions. We are interested in papers that go beyond single country surveys to consider transnational, bilateral and multilateral connections, including the role of international organizations; comparative studies; analysis of areas of nuclear science and geographic regions less studied; and cultural manifestations. In this workshop, we seek to go beyond national origin stories to produce an innovative group of articles for publication. Papers should be based on primary sources including archival materials.
US President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the Atoms for Peace initiative in a speech to the United Nations in December 1953. His goals were to encourage a broad array of peaceful atomic programs (agricultural, industrial, medical, power production, transport); temper rising Cold War tensions; promote American businesses engaged in nuclear energy;and to provide an opportunity to demonstrate the superiority of the capitalist system over the socialist one. The Soviet Union was prepared for this contest.
In this conference we shall explore the new public light that was shed on nuclear technology. Scientists and engineers flocked to the Geneva conferences of 1955, 1958, and 1964, enthused to have the chance to exchange information on many aspects of nuclear technology and the nuclear fuel cycle. (The workings and effects of nuclear weapons remained secret.) In magazines, journals, newspapers and films, citizens learned of their efforts. The US, the USSR, and other nuclear powers established carefully managed efforts to propagandize the benefits of nuclear energy to national audiences and to the world at large. Nuclear power in the Atoms for Peace era thus became a product of public-science and public-state interactions.
We invite papers that consider the above themes as well as the following questions: How important was government financial and regulatory support for Atoms for Peace era nuclear programs? How did government and industry engage the public? What kinds of status accrued to new nuclear states? In what ways did the transnational flow of raw materials, technologies, expertise and training programs change during the Atoms for Peace era? What impact did new nuclear programs have on those of the nuclear enterprise in established North American, European and Soviet programs? How did security and secrecy concerns play out in Atoms for Peace?
Proposals for papers (an abstract of 300 words and a currents CV) should be sent to Matt Adamson at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than December 24, 2017. Contact Matt Adamson or Paul Josephson at email@example.com with any questions. Financing for this conference comes from the HoNEST (History of Nuclear Energy and Society project funded by the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2014-2018 under grant agreement No. 662268. HoNEST will support travel to Barcelona, lodging, and local meals.