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Read e-book online Mobilising Modernity: The Nuclear Moment (International PDF

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By Ian Welsh

ISBN-10: 0203167902

ISBN-13: 9780203167908

ISBN-10: 0203283562

ISBN-13: 9780203283561

ISBN-10: 0415047919

ISBN-13: 9780415047913

In the course of the nuclear heyday of the post-war years advocates of atomic energy promised reasonable electrical energy and a filthy rich destiny. From the current, despite the fact that, this promise turns out tarnished by means of injuries, leaks and a scarcity of public self assurance. Mobilising Modernity strains this trip from self belief in know-how to the anxieties of the danger Society wondering a few traditional wisdoms en direction. Paying shut recognition to social, political and coverage points all through, this booklet considers:* the nuclear second from worldwide collaborative undertaking at Los Alamos to fragmented, bitterly competing tasks* the 'atomic technological know-how movement's' use of symbolic assets to win nationwide ascendancy* the consequences of secrecy and the institution of quasi-commercial businesses in the nuclear industry.This interesting research additionally argues for the continuing value of the non-violent direct motion teams that flourished throughout the Nineteen Seventies, exhibiting their carrying on with impression on latest new social pursuits. Welsh concludes by means of contemplating the results of this traditionally dependent account for modern problems with chance and belief on present policy-making.

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Los Alamos, situated in the desert of New Mexico, became the site of the Manhattan project which was to manufacture a nuclear weapon. There are many detailed accounts of the Manhattan project, including that of its architect in chief General Groves (Groves 1963). In terms of the theoretical ambitions engaged with here it is important to recognise the Manhattan project as both a nodal event for a scientific social movement and founding moment of high modernity. It was a nodal event for the atomic social movement which had been coalescing for thirty years, bringing together an immense multi-disciplinary team including theoretical physicists, mathematicians, chemists, materials scientists, and engineers amongst others.

Britain’s wartime leader, Churchill, considered the bomb to be ‘the second coming, the secret has been wrested from nature . . Fire was the first discovery, this is the second’ (Moran 1966: 280). 40 Mobilising modernity 1111 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 2 3 4 45111 Socially and culturally, the nuclear moment created a window to a very different political world. 10 The nuclear moment thus becomes characterised by a number of peculiarly national accommodations set within the context of the necessarily global institutions charged with the responsibility of developing and regulating the atom.

1979: 10). Amongst the answers to this question lay desire for power, control, dominance, and omnipotence associated with nuclear weapons and the compensating desire for recompense and reparation associated with the ‘peaceful atom’. This entire range of registers of desire seems to have resided in varying degrees throughout the entire cadre and continues to be found in the discourse of weapons scientists today (see Rosenthal 1991, Welsh 2000). Perversely the scientific desire for, and pursuit of, rational knowledge/power over the fundamental forces of nature evoked other registers widely defined as irrational, primitive and instinctual.

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Mobilising Modernity: The Nuclear Moment (International Library of Sociology) by Ian Welsh

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