Chapter

Introduction: The neutron and its progeny

Sean F. Johnston

in The Neutron's Children

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199692118
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692118.003.0001
Introduction: The neutron and its progeny

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How does technical expertise grow? This book is a unique bottom-up account of how nuclear experts became established in the first three countries to support them: the USA, UK, and Canada. This chapter details previous accounts of the nuclear age, and how this book, on the other hand, aims to shift focus directly back to the specialists behind the wartime Manhattan Project reactors, post-war atomic energy, and late twentieth-century nuclear power. The political and economic contexts examined by previous analyses are explored with a new goal: to reveal how they shaped the identities of nuclear workers and their new professions. In short, this book complements the top-down accounts and analyses of the nuclear era to reveal the contingencies that shaped nuclear experts themselves.

Keywords: literature review; bottom-up history; overview; disciplines; occupations; professions; nuclear history

Chapter.  7857 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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