The School of Arts and Sciences at AUD held an edition of the Lecture Series hosting Dr. James Lockhart, Assistant Professor of History at AUD, for a talk entitled: Nuclear Modernization into the 21st Century: A Brief History of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Lecture Series promotes interaction with faculty, staff, and students. In addition, it provides an outlet for faculty to present work that may have been presented elsewhere or original scholarship intended for AUD.
Nuclear Modernization into the 21st Century: A Brief History of the International Atomic Energy Agency
We tend to think of nuclear issues in terms of rogue nations, from Pakistan to North Korea and Iran. But there is another angle: the international nuclear-science community. There are presently 168 members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), mostly small nations from the Global South. This community’s history remains in its infancy and indeed mostly untold. Yet the history matters because the its endeavors have become, as one IAEA official recently explained, "a constant factor in daily life…The Agency's focus…has increasingly been the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques to address the daunting challenges in the developing world -- disease, poverty, hunger, and a shortage of drinking water." Projects include expanding radiotherapy to treat cancer, cultivating radiation-induced mutations to improve rice production, and employing discrete irradiation techniques to sterilize male insect populations where conventional pesticides have failed, resulting, for example, in the tsetse fly's eradication in Zanzibar.
Dr. James Lockhart's presentation will outline the Republic of Chile’s contributions to the international nuclear-science community’s success, beginning in the 1960s. Chileans’ experiences highlight the range of problems most member nations have encountered. These experiences also show how a prevailing sense of optimism ultimately holds the whole community together and aids its progress. The IAEA is basically working, calmly, professionally, and safely – not failing or falling apart – even as the UN Security Council, which enforces nonproliferation, manages ongoing crises in two or three rogue nations.
This presentation will interest faculty and students at AUD, particularly those interested in the intersection of international relations, science and engineering, and the history of the Cold War. It derives from interdisciplinary research and will introduce students to a career path they may not have considered.