An iconic 20th-century scientific intellectual, theoretical physicist J. (Julius) Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory in the remote New Mexico desert where the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki were designed and assembled in World War II. Biographical studies have placed his life at the crucial point of intersection in modern scientific and American history between managerialist science, technocratic authority, and military power. Scholars, writers, and journalists of science studies have variously interpreted Oppenheimer as embodying core ideas about the modern representation of science and technology, ideas including the role of the scientific statesman, the function of the scientific intellectual, the political authority of science, the morality of science, tensions between science and humanism, and the conflict between a scientist's ...

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