Logo der Universität Wien
You are here:>University of Vienna >Writing Pugwash Histories

Pugwash in Britain, Pugwash and the fallout issue

Alison Kraft

My interest in the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs stems from long-standing teaching and research interests in the history of the nuclear age and more specifically with the history of radiation and the development of radiobiology.  My work here has focused on the medical uses of radiation (bone marrow transplantation, the artificial radioisotope) and on its dangers (especially the controversy surrounding radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing  in the 1950s and 1960s). Pugwash offers a means to explore the tensions engendered by the military and peaceful atom amongst scientists and, linked to this, the role of scientists as anti-nuclear activists during the early Cold War. One focus lies with the experience of ‘dissenting’ scientists within the UK/US, with an emphasis on how developments within the national setting are crucial for understanding the emergence of international anti-nuclear networks and initiatives. This has led to a strengthening interest in the history of nuclear policy making, questions of government secrecy, the evolving relationship between scientists and the Cold War state, and the meaning of nuclear ‘culture(s)’. A broader theme of my recent work concerns the intersections between the history of science and environmental history during the Cold War.    

University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0