1. Introduction: Neutrons in Uranium (2 sessions)
1. Introduction, From Radioactivity Research to Nuclear Fission
2. The German „Uranverein” and the Manhattan Project
Content: The first introductory session starts with an overview on the topics dealt within the seminar and the formal requirements for participation. Then, a summary of the development of radioactive/nuclear research from its beginnings at the end of the 19C until the discovery of nuclear fission is given. In the second session the application of nuclear fission to a nuclear reactor or a nuclear bomb in the context of the German ”Uranverein” and the American ”Manhattan Project” is exposed.
Educational objectives: The students become familiar with the concept of Big Science and recognize the different structures of nuclear knowledge production in Germany and the USA during World War II.
Walker, Mark, Nazi Science: Myth, Truth, and the German Atomic Bomb. (New York, 1995).
Hughes, Jeff, The Manhattan Project: Big Science and the Atom Bomb. (New York, 2002).
Galison, Peter, und Bruce Hevly, (eds.), Big Science: The Growth of Large-Scale Research. (Stanford, 1992).
2. Knowledge Transfers in the Postwar Era (2 sessions)
3. Operation Overcast and Operation Osoaviakhim
4. Atoms for Peace and its Russian Equivalent
Content: In the 3rd session the focus is on two examples of knowledge transfer in the early postwar era: US-American Operation Overcast and Soviet Operation Osoaviakhim. The 4th session deals with the American Atoms for Peace Program in comparison to its Russian pendant.
Educational objectives: The students recognize the fundamental differences between the knowledge transfer in the immediate postwar era and the cold war. They understand the role of knowledge and controlled knowledge flows for the installation and preservation of hegemony.
Naimark, Norman M., The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949. (Cambridge, Mass, 1995), chap. 4: The Soviet use of German science, p. 205-250.
Gimbel, John. Science, Technology, and Reparations: Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany. (Stanford, 1990).
Krige, John. „Building the Arsenal of Knowledge”. Centaurus 52 (2010): 280–296.
Ciesla, Burghard. „Das ‚Project Paperclip‘: Deutsche Naturwissenschaftler und Techniker in den USA (1946 bis 1952),” in: Jürgen Kocka (Hrsg.), Historische DDR-Forschung: Aufsätze und Studien, (Berlin, 1993), 287–301.
John Krige ”Atoms for Peace, Scientific Internationalism, and Scientific Intelligence,” in: John Krige and Kai-Henrik Barth (eds.), Global Knowledge Power. Science and Technology in International Affairs, Osiris 21 (2006), 161- 181.
Schmid, Sonja D. „Nuclear Colonization? Soviet Technopolitics in the Second World,” in: Gabrielle Hecht (ed.), Entangled Geographies. Empire and Technopolitics in the Cold War, (Cambridge, Mass, 2011), 125–154.
3. Nuclear Energy Programs in Small European States (3 sessions)
Content: The 3rd block of the seminar compares three small European states in terms of their nuclear politics, research, and economy: The NATO founding member Denmark and the politically neutral states Austria and Switzerland. They have in common that they all have a long tradition in nuclear research but they differ in how they realize their nuclear energy programs.
Educational objectives: The students understand the different concepts of political neutrality and they learn about the methodological approaches to innovation. Furthermore, they understand the role of the social, economic and political context for embedding and creating new knowledge.
Nielsen, Henry, und Hendrik Knudsen, „The Troublesome Life of Peaceful Atoms in Denmark”. History in Technology 26 (2010), 91–118.
Forstner, Christian, „Zur Geschichte der österreichischen Kernenergieprogramme,” in: Silke Fengler und Carola Sachse (Hrsg.), Kernforschung in Österreich: Wandlungen eines interdisziplinären Forschungsfeldes 1900-1978, (Wien, Köln, Weimar, 2012), 159–180.
Wildi, Thomas. Der Traum vom eigenen Reaktor. schweizerische Atomtechnologieentwicklung 1945-1969. (Zürich, 2003).
4. Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Weapons (3 sessions)
Content: The sessions exemplify the connection between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons and their intended role to strengthen the position of national state within the Cold War networks. Britain developed nuclear weapons until the successful test of the H-bomb in 1958 in a mostly independent manner. After that the US-UK Mutual Defense Agreement was signed and Britain received classified information from the US. In contrast to the UK, nuclear weapons supported France’s ambition to strengthen its independence from those networks. Sweden finally dismissed its own nuclear plans with in the Western network.
Educational objectives: The students learn that a comprehensive analysis of national nuclear weapon programs can only be successful in taking account of the Cold War networks with the US as a central node.
Hughes, Jeff. „What is British Nuclear Culture? Understanding Uranium 235,” British Journal for the History of Science 45 (2012), 495-518.
Hecht, Gabrielle. The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1998.
Fjæstad, Maja and Jonter, Thomas. ”Between Welfare and Warfare: The Rise and Fall of the ‘Swedish Line’ in Nuclear Engineering,” in: Per Lundin, Niklas Stenlas and Johan Gribbe (eds.) Science for Welfare and Warfare:Technology and State Initiative in Cold War Sweden, (Sagamore Beach, 2010), 153–172.
5. Divided Between East and West (1 session)
11. The Two German States
Content: This session focuses on two front-line states of the Cold War: The GDR and the FRG. The rearmament of the West German army as well as the nuclear policy of the West German government on the one hand and the prevention of an independent development of nuclear technology in East Germany on the other hand viewed from the perspective of transnational networks will be the central issues of this session.
Educational objectives: The students understand the importance of international and transnational networks in order to restrict the policy of individual states and their impact on the knowledge production in a single state.
Eckert, Michael. „Kernenergie und Westintegration: Die Zähmung des westdeutschen Nuklearnationalismus,” in: Ludolf Herbst, Werner Bührer, und Hanno Sowade (Hrsg.), Vom Marshallplan zur EWG. Die Eingliederung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in die westliche Welt, (München, 1990), 313–334.
Müller, Wolfgang D. Geschichte der Kernenergie in der DDR. Kernforschung und Kerntechnik im Schatten des Sozialismus. (Stuttgart, 2001).
6. Beyond the Western Perspective (3 sessions)
12. The Different Perceptions of Nuclear Energy in Japan and South Korea
13. New Zealand
14. Nuclear Energy and Nation Building: India
15. Uranium production and postcolonial questions.
Content: This block leaves the traditional Western historiography. It starts with the different perceptions of the atomic bomb in Japan and South Korea and the analysis of their history in terms of nuclear energy programs. Then, one of the biggest non-aligned countries, India and its nuclear energy program within the Cold War networks is discussed. Finally, we focus on Africa, uranium production and the global uranium trade. Mostly, the nuclear powers are the former colonizers while the uranium producers are the former colonies. Therefore it is also necessary to take a postcolonial perspective to complete the picture of a world gone nuclear.
Educational objectives: The students understand why a completely different perception of the atomic bomb in Japan and South Korea led to a similar attitude to nuclear energy. They learn what it means to become a ”nuclear power” for a developing country and they become aware of postcolonial perspectives.
Yamazaki, Masakatsu. ”Nuclear Energy in Postwar Japan and Anti-Nuclear Movements in the 1950s” Historia Scientarium (Tokyo), 19 (2009), 132-145.
Rebecca Priestley, Mad on Radium: New Zealand in the Atomic Age. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2012.
DiMoia, John. ”Atoms for Power?: The Atomic Energy Research Institute (AERI) and South Korean Electrification, (1948-1965),” Historia Scientarium (Tokyo), 19 (2009), 170-183.
Phalkey, Jahnavi. Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India. (New Delhi, 2013).
Hecht, Gabrielle. Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade. (Cambridge, Mass., 2012).
7. Final Discussion
16. Final Discussion
The aim is to sum up the central topics of the seminar and to draw a big picture beyond the individual session: The shift of knowledge production from the academic laboratory to big science, the different forms of knowledge transfer and its role for political hegemony, the role of these transfers for the local national programs and their different configurations, as well as the importance of nuclear weapons for the non-superpowers within the cold war networks rethought. Postcolonial questions from the foregoing sessions will be present in the whole discussion.