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SCPP BC3334 Science, State Power & Ethics. 4 points.


A comparative study of science in the service of the State in the U.S., the former Soviet Union, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany during pivotal periods through the first half of the 20th century. Topics to be covered include the political and moral consequences of policies based upon advances in the natural sciences making possible the development of TNT, nerve gas, uranium fission and hydrogen fusion atomic bombs. Considers the tensions involved in balancing scientific imperatives, patriotic commitment to the nation-state, and universal moral principles and tensions faced by Robert Oppenheimer, Andrei Sakharov, Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. Selected readings include: Michael Frayn's play Copenhagen, Hitler's Uranium Club by Jeremy Bernstein, Brecht's Galileo, John McPhee's The Curve of Binding Energy, Richard Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

Spring 2021: SCPP BC3334
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SCPP 3334 001/00645 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Timothy Halpin-Healy 4 11/10