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The Neutron's ChildrenNuclear Engineers and the Shaping of Identity$
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Sean F. Johnston

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692118

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692118.001.0001

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Introduction: The neutron and its progeny

Introduction: The neutron and its progeny

(p.1) 1 Introduction: The neutron and its progeny
The Neutron's Children

Sean F. Johnston

Oxford University Press

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

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