The First Atomic Age

Author: Matthew Lavine
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9781349455478
Format: PDF, ePub
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At the close of the 19th century, strange new forms of energy arrested the American public's attention in ways that no scientific discovery ever had before. This groundbreaking cultural history tells the story of the first nuclear culture, one whose lasting effects would be seen in the familiar "atomic age" of the post-war twentieth century.

Three Mile Island

Author: Grace Halden
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317419936
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Three Mile Island explains the far-reaching consequences of the partial meltdown of Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island power plant on March 28, 1979. Though the disaster was ultimately contained, the fears it triggered had an immediate and lasting impact on public attitudes towards nuclear energy in the United States. In this volume, Grace Halden contextualizes the events at Three Mile Island and the ensuing media coverage, offering a gripping portrait of a nation coming to terms with technological advances that inspired both awe and terror. Including a selection of key primary documents, this book offers a fascinating resource for students of the history of science, technology, the environment, and Cold War culture.

Inventing Atmospheric Science

Author: James Rodger Fleming
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262033941
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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How scientists used transformative new technologies to understand the complexities of weather and the atmosphere, told through the intertwined careers of three key figures.

A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Author: Christopher M. Nichols
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118913965
Format: PDF, Docs
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A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era presents a collection of new historiographic essays covering the years between 1877 and 1920, a period which saw the U.S. emerge from the ashes of Reconstruction to become a world power. The single, definitive resource for the latest state of knowledge relating to the history and historiography of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era Features contributions by leading scholars in a wide range of relevant specialties Coverage of the period includes geographic, social, cultural, economic, political, diplomatic, ethnic, racial, gendered, religious, global, and ecological themes and approaches In today’s era, often referred to as a “second Gilded Age,” this book offers relevant historical analysis of the factors that helped create contemporary society Fills an important chronological gap in period-based American history collections

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Author: Thomas S. Kuhn
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226458148
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

Strange Glow

Author: Timothy J. Jorgensen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400880521
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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More than ever before, radiation is a part of our modern daily lives. We own radiation-emitting phones, regularly get diagnostic x-rays, such as mammograms, and submit to full-body security scans at airports. We worry and debate about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the safety of nuclear power plants. But how much do we really know about radiation? And what are its actual dangers? An accessible blend of narrative history and science, Strange Glow describes mankind's extraordinary, thorny relationship with radiation, including the hard-won lessons of how radiation helps and harms our health. Timothy Jorgensen explores how our knowledge of and experiences with radiation in the last century can lead us to smarter personal decisions about radiation exposures today. Jorgensen introduces key figures in the story of radiation—from Wilhelm Roentgen, the discoverer of x-rays, and pioneering radioactivity researchers Marie and Pierre Curie, to Thomas Edison and the victims of the recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Tracing the most important events in the evolution of radiation, Jorgensen explains exactly what radiation is, how it produces certain health consequences, and how we can protect ourselves from harm. He also considers a range of practical scenarios such as the risks of radon in our basements, radiation levels in the fish we eat, questions about cell-phone use, and radiation's link to cancer. Jorgensen empowers us to make informed choices while offering a clearer understanding of broader societal issues. Investigating radiation's benefits and risks, Strange Glow takes a remarkable look at how, for better or worse, radiation has transformed our society.

Arming Mother Nature

Author: Jacob Darwin Hamblin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199911592
Format: PDF, Docs
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When most Americans think of environmentalism, they think of the political left, of vegans dressed in organic-hemp fabric, lofting protest signs. In reality, writes Jacob Darwin Hamblin, the movement--and its dire predictions--owe more to the Pentagon than the counterculture. In Arming Mother Nature, Hamblin argues that military planning for World War III essentially created "catastrophic environmentalism": the idea that human activity might cause global natural disasters. This awareness, Hamblin shows, emerged out of dark ambitions, as governments poured funds into environmental science after World War II, searching for ways to harness natural processes--to kill millions of people. Proposals included the use of nuclear weapons to create artificial tsunamis or melt the ice caps to drown coastal cities; setting fire to vast expanses of vegetation; and changing local climates. Oxford botanists advised British generals on how to destroy enemy crops during the war in Malaya; American scientists attempted to alter the weather in Vietnam. This work raised questions that went beyond the goal of weaponizing nature. By the 1980s, the C.I.A. was studying the likely effects of global warming on Soviet harvests. "Perhaps one of the surprises of this book is not how little was known about environmental change, but rather how much," Hamblin writes. Driven initially by strategic imperatives, Cold War scientists learned to think globally and to grasp humanity's power to alter the environment. "We know how we can modify the ionosphere," nuclear physicist Edward Teller proudly stated. "We have already done it." Teller never repented. But many of the same individuals and institutions that helped the Pentagon later warned of global warming and other potential disasters. Brilliantly argued and deeply researched, Arming Mother Nature changes our understanding of the history of the Cold War and the birth of modern environmental science.

Space Age Science and Stone Age Politics

Author: John Scales Avery
Publisher: Lulu.com
ISBN: 1326557726
Format: PDF
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Space-age science and stone-age politics make an extraordinarily dangerous mixture. It seems probable that in the future, the rapidity of scientificand technological change will produce ethical dilemmas and social tensions even more acute than those we experience today. It is likely that the fate of our species (and the fate of the biosphere) will be made precarious by the astonishing speed of scientific and technological change unless this progress is matched by the achievement of far greater ethical and political maturity than we have yet attained.

Technology and the Pursuit of Economic Growth

Author: David C. Mowery
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521389365
Format: PDF
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Technology's contribution to economic growth and competitiveness has been the subject of vigorous debate in recent years. This book demonstrates the importance of a historical perspective in understanding the role of technological innovation in the economy. The authors examine key episodes and institutions in the development of the U.S. research system and in the development of the research systems of other industrial economies. They argue that the large potential contributions of economics to the understanding of technology and economic growth have been constrained by the narrow theoretical framework employed within neoclassical economies. A richer framework, they believe, will support a more fruitful dialogue among economists, policymakers, and managers on the organization of public and private institutions for innovation. David Mowery is Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at the School of Business Administration, University of California, Berkeley. Nathan S. Rosenberg is Fairleigh Dickinson Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He is the author of Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics (CUP, 1983).