ERIC Number: EJ835610
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Implanting a Discipline: The Academic Trajectory of Nuclear Engineering in the USA and UK
Johnston, Sean F.
Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy, v47 n1 p51-73 Mar 2009
The nuclear engineer emerged as a new form of recognised technical professional between 1940 and the early 1960s as nuclear fission, the chain reaction and their applications were explored. The institutionalization of nuclear engineering--channelled into new national laboratories and corporate design offices during the decade after the war, and hurried into academic venues thereafter--proved unusually dependent on government definition and support. This paper contrasts the distinct histories of the new discipline in the USA and UK (and, more briefly, Canada). In the segregated and influential environments of institutional laboratories and factories, historical actors such as physicist Walter Zinn in the USA and industrial chemist Christopher Hinton in the UK proved influential in shaping the roles and perceptions of nuclear specialists. More broadly, I argue that the State-managed implantation of the new subject within further and higher education curricula was shaped strongly by distinct political and economic contexts in which secrecy, postwar prestige and differing industrial cultures were decisive factors.
Descriptors: Educational Policy, Higher Education, Science Education, Engineering, Foreign Countries, Engineering Education, Educational History, Intellectual Disciplines, Educational Environment, Politics of Education, Government Role, Economic Factors, Nuclear Energy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United Kingdom; United States