When World War II “ended in a thunderclap,” observed Joseph H. Rush of the Association of Oak Ridge Scientists in 1947, the war had made science “politically interesting” and had interested scientists in politics. These interests manifested themselves in the rhetoric of the cold war that defined much of the public discourse for the next four decades. The cold war's inception is marked variously with such events as the August 6, 1945, explosion of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan; Japan's surrender shortly thereafter; articulation of the Truman Doctrine in the president's March 1947 address to the U.S. Congress; assistance for Greece and Turkey; and publication the same year of George F. Kennan's anonymous memo in Foreign Affairs advocating that the U.S. adopt a ...

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