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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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A state-managed profession

A state-managed profession

(p.161) 6 A state-managed profession
The Neutron's Children

Sean F. Johnston

Oxford University Press

Segregation in national laboratories, like a boarding school for a privileged child, protected and shaped early nuclear specialists. Their coming of age, though, was marked inevitably by public events and hinted at the further loosening of control by their parent governments. The adolescence for this emerging profession was signalled by new opportunities and relationships. The lowering of nuclear secrecy during the mid-1950s rapidly opened up the field of nuclear engineering and promoted stable identities for its experts. Nuclear engineering conferences, journals, and professional societies were founded—leading to conflicts with existing professions. And the new expertise was for the first time taught in open university and college environments. All of these opportunities were sustained by their governments and institutions.

Keywords:   Atoms for Peace, Atomic Energy Act, Geneva Conference, training, universities, colleges, higher education, further education, professional societies, disciplines, professions, nuclear history

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