Week 6 Notes

Week 6 Notes - Ideals of Research and of Society Intro...

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Ideals of Research and of Society 05/11/2007 16:59:00 Intro: Bernal and Polanyi on Economics and Science Bernal o Communist o Wanted to plan science to solve pressing social problems Polanyi o Capitalist (neo-liberal avant la lettre) o Planning science is impossible The Great Depression and the soviet model of practical science Soviet Science under Stalin o Stalin liked the economic role of heroic engineering o Stalin centralized science Academy at the top Preserved an aspect of elitism Most science was put into research institutes to solve specific  practical problems Most important applications Agriculture Industry o Education Extremely specialized Ex: “Ball bearing engineer for pulp mills”
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Interlude: The Russians build a bomb Igor Kurchatov o Physicist o Moved to work on radioactivity in 1932 o Grew slowly in importance o US bomb made him most important 1940: secretized nuclear research o Absence of info in newspapers suggested a military project 1945: Working earnestly on the bomb o Lots of slave labor by prisoners, etc. 1949: Successfully exploded a plutonium test bomb Back to:  The Great Depression and the soviet model of practical science Period of Stalin’s great brutality Still, Western observers saw a rationally-planned economy that had avoided  economic depression Bernal: science (mobilized) and socialism
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Week 6 Notes - Ideals of Research and of Society Intro...

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