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Churchill's Bomb

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Nigel Bennee.

Contrary to widespread belief, Winston Churchill was interested in basic science, especially in its possible military and civil applications. Although he was not a strong student in technical subjects, he privately cultivated an interest in science when he was a young man through the work of HG Wells, Darwin and others. Later, in the ‘20s and ‘30s, he was interested in quantum theory and even in the beginnings of nuclear science. In this lecture, I will explore how Churchill came to oversee the first nuclear development programme and his subsequent involvement with nuclear weapons, I shall enquire about his judgment in leading these nuclear developments and ask whether he can reasonably be described as a political pioneer of the nuclear age.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) series.

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