Scientists at war focuses primarily on two important questions the first is how did cold war era american scientists understand their political responsibility in other words to what extent did they consciously weigh political and ethical considerations before agreeing to conduct weapons related research. Scientists at war is a book that delivers exactly what it promises a deep exploration of american scientists understanding of their role in cold war weapons research bridgers faithfulness to her actors terms has produced a thoughtful sympathetic and at times even moving account of an ethically complicated time. Scientists at war examines the ethical debates that severely tested the american scientific community during the cold warsarah bridger highlights the contributions of scientists to military technologies and strategic policymaking from the dawning atomic age in the 1940s through the strategic defense initiative star wars in the 1980s which sparked a cross generational opposition . Bridger has two goals to illuminate how scientists conceived of the ethics of their research roles and to demonstrate that the vietnam war instigated a profound shift in scientists understanding of their ethical responsibilities despite the books subtitle bridgers text fruitfully ranges beyond conflicts over weapons research. Such a claim however was typical cold war pabulum that differed tremendously from the language of outsider scientists such as linus pauling who morally castigated the american people as murderers mass murderers for testing nuclear weapons no more war new york 1983 215 in fact government scientists purposefully distanced
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