Creating a Canadian profession: the nuclear engineer, c. 1940-1968

Johnston, S.F. (2009) Creating a Canadian profession: the nuclear engineer, c. 1940-1968. Canadian Journal of History: Annales Canadiennes d'Histoire, 44(3), pp. 435-466.

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Canada, as one of the three Allied nations collaborating on atomic energy development during the Second World War, had an early start in applying its new knowledge and defining a new profession. Owing to postwar secrecy and distinct national aims for the field, nuclear engineering was shaped uniquely by the Canadian context. Alone among the postwar powers, Canadian exploration of atomic energy eschewed military applications; the occupation emerged within a governmental monopoly; the intellectual content of the discipline was influenced by its early practitioners, administrators, scarce resources, and university niches; and a self-recognized profession coalesced later than did its American and British counterparts. This paper argues that the history of the emergence of Canadian nuclear engineers exemplifies unusually strong shaping of technical expertise by political and cultural context.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Profession, discipline, nuclear engineering, engineer, Canada science, technology
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnston, Professor Sean
Authors: Johnston, S.F.
Subjects:F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1001 Canada (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Canadian Journal of History: Annales Canadiennes d'Histoire
Journal Abbr.:Can. J. Hist.
Publisher:University of Saskatchewan, College of Arts and Science, Department of History
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2009 University of Saskatchewan
First Published:First published in Canadian Journal of History / Annales Canadiennes d'Histoire 44(3):435-466
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher.
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
445351The nuclear engineer - shaping a professionSean JohnstonEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/E018483/1Interdisciplinary Studies