Past Event

Alex Wellerstein -Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the United States.

May 10, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Event Description

The American atomic bomb was born in secrecy. From the moment scientists first conceived of its possibility to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and beyond, there were efforts to control the spread of nuclear information and the newly discovered scientific facts that made such powerful weapons possible. The totalizing scientific secrecy that the atomic bomb appeared to demand was new, unusual, and very nearly unprecedented. It was foreign to American science and American democracy—and potentially incompatible with both. From the beginning, this secrecy was controversial, and it was always contested. The atomic bomb was not merely the application of science to war, but the result of decades of investment in scientific education, infrastructure, and global collaboration. Alex Wellerstein traces the complex evolution of the US nuclear secrecy regime from the first whisper of the atomic bomb through the mounting tensions of the Cold War and into the early twenty-first century.

Event Speakers

  • Alex Wellerstein, Assistant Professor in Science and Technology Studies at Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Matthew Connelly, Professor of History at Columbia University
  • Kathleen M. Vogel, Professor and Deputy Director in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University

Event Information

Free and open to the public; registration required. For more information, please visit the event webpage

Hosted by the American Historical Association as part of the Washington History Seminar Series.