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Just reviewed in LRB by Steven Rose, Audra Wolfe, Freedom's Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science (JHUP,
jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/freedoms… )
with lotsa refs to Pugwash and to Atoms for Peace, and a virtual book on geneticist Herbert Muller, very pro-Soviet in the 1/
'30s (Leslie Dunn at Columbia said Soviet labs were better than many in the west), then very anti- post Lysenko. When Ike, CIA et al promoted Atoms for Peace, Muller's conviction that radiation was genetically harmful violated the party line:
"Atoms for Peace combined 2/
economic, military, political, and psychological objectives, .... And yet, the campaign’s success threatened to undermine US credibility.... An observer reported that the 1955 Geneva Conference on Peaceful Uses of the Atom “uncorked the security bottle so that it can never 3/
be closed tight again,” a result that “delighted” US scientists but worried administrators at the AEC, who feared losing control over research on the dangers of fallout. This tension reached a dramatic head when the AEC attempted to prohibit H. J. Muller, of all people, 4/
from delivering a paper on the genetic dangers of radiation. Muller [Indiana U] therefore delivered his remarks from the floor, to general applause from the assembled scientists & the delight of the international press. The incident left the AEC, the USIA, and geneticists all 5/
complaining about different kinds of bad publicity—non-nuclear fallout—that resulted from the incident." (From Wolfe).
Wolfe generously cites a number of other recent works on US science and foreign affairs, all of which seem quite good. 6/
Muller was a lifelong devotee of eugenics though not like many a right-winger. IN the 30's he fantasized about continuing Lenin's blood line. When I heard him in 1962, he'd toned down, saying only that eugenics could create a "magnanimous" population. 7/
A mate disrupted the Q & A by asking, "And what's so good about magnanimity??" He went on to great things. 8/
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