Conference “Transnational Perspectives on Soviet Cutting-Edge Technology”, January 31–February 1, 2019

The second international conference of the NucTechPol project has taken place from January 31 – February 1, 2019, at the University of Berne, Switzerland.

For a printable version of the programme, see the conference poster (pdf).


Venue: Room 205, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012 Bern.

Thursday, January 31

09:45–10:15 Introduction | Julia Richers & Fabian Lüscher

Panel I: 10:15–12:00

Soviet Radiation Biology: Navigating Boundaries of Closed Worlds | Susanne Bauer, Oslo

“Atomic Reserve” in the Southern Urals | Laura Sembritzki, Heidelberg

Chair: Silvia Berger, Bern

Panel II: 13:30–15:15

Accelerated Relationships: The USSR and the Rise of Megascience in Cold War High-Energy Physics, 1956–1991 | Roman Khandozhko, Tübingen

Explosive Math: Soviet Mathematicians, the Bomb, and the International Community during the Cold War | Slava Gerovitch, Cambridge, MA

Chair: Carmen Scheide, Bern

Panel III:

15:45–17:30 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: Mutual Perceptions, Interdependencies, Cooperative Efforts, and Transfers between the Space Programs of the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the 1970s | Darina Volf, Munich

Soviet Science at the Edge of Nuclear Apocalypse Performing “Star Wars” on the International Stage | Asif Siddiqi, New York

Chair: Julia Richers, Bern

Friday, February 1

Panel IV: 09:45–12:15

To Be Taken with a Grain of Salt. Nuclear-Powered Water Desalination in East, West and South (1961 to Present) | Stefan Guth, Tübingen

Trust, Passion and Compromise: ITER and the History of Nuclear Fusion Diplomacy | Anna Åberg, Göteborg

Disillusion about Fusion. Failure as an Asset to Soviet Nuclear Internationalism, 1956–1968 | Fabian Lüscher, Bern

Chair: Tanja Penter, Heidelberg

Panel V: 13:30–16:00

Putting Scientific Diplomacy into Words: Translation, Mediation and Public Communication in Cold War Big Science | Ksenia Tatarchenko, Geneva

Brains, Bombs, and Other Smart Nuclear Reactors | Benjamin Peters, Tulsa

A Global Industry. Transnational Entanglements of Soviet Computer Manufacturing | Felix Herrmann, Bremen

Chair: Klaus Gestwa, Tübingen

16:30–17:00 Final Discussion

Chair: Julia Richers & Fabian Lüscher


Topical Journal Issue on Soviet Nuclear Technopolitics (JGO 66/1, 2018)

The first publication of the NucTechPol research group has just appeared in print:

Stefan Guth, Fabian Lüscher and Julia Richers (eds.), Nuclear Technopolitics in the Soviet Union and Beyond [=Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 66/1 (2018)]

This is a peer-reviewed, English-language topical issue of Jahrbücher für Osteuropäische Geschichte, one of the preeminent German scholarly journals for Eastern European history.

The complete issue is available online here (paywall).

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Conference “Nuclear Technopolitics in the Soviet Union and Beyond”, Tübingen, March 22-23, 2018


The participants of the NucTechPol Tübingen Conference, March 2018

The first conference of the NucTechPol project took place in Tübingen from March 22–23, 2018. Bringing together historians of the Soviet Union, international relations and science and technology, it aimed to review Soviet nuclear technopolitics in a long-term perspective and to place them in an international context.

Download Conference Programme (PDF)

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Archivrecherchen in Moskau, Dubna, Obninsk und Kaluga


Kürzlich deklassifiziertes Protokoll einer Sitzung des Parteikomitees Dubna aus dem Jahr 1957. (Foto: Roman Khandozhko)

Vom 8. Oktober – 10. Dezember 2017 recherchierte Roman Khandozhko zwei Monaten lang in Moskau, Dubna, Obninsk und Kaluga. Im zentralen Staatsarchivs der Oblast‘ Moskau hatte auf seinen Antrag hin im Oktober 2018 eine Deklassifizierungs-Kommission getagt und etwa 50 Akten des städtischen Parteikomitees der Forschungsstadt Dubna zugänglich gemacht, unter anderem Protokolle der Parteikonferenzen, Plenen und Bürositzungen von 1956 bis 1967.

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Konferenz “Nuclear Legacies” in Stockholm

Auf der Konferenz “Nuclear Legacies: Community, Memory, Waste & Nature” an der Södertörn-Universität (Stockholm, Schweden) referierte Roman Khandozhko am 15.09.2017 zum Thema:

„Soviet time on the atomic clock? Sacralization of the communist past in the case of the nuclear museums in Obninsk and Dubna“.

Einen Konferenzbericht finden Sie auf dem Nuclear-Legacies-Blog.

“Nuclear Weapons Testing, Nuclear Waste Disposal, and the Politics of Risk.” Cynthia Werner am 28.09.2017 in Tübingen

Город Курчатов

Wohnsiedlung in Kurčatov, der Erschließungsstadt des Atomwaffen-Testgeländes von Semipalatinsk (heute Semei). Bildrechte: RIA Novosti, CC über Wikimedia Commons

Am 28. September 2017 spricht Prof. Dr. Cynthia Werner (Texas A&M University) in Tübingen zum Thema:

Nuclear Weapons Testing, Nuclear Waste Disposal, and the Politics of Risk

Der Vortrag findet um 14:15 an der Keplerstraße 2, Raum Nr. 1.81 statt.

Er wird von Dr. Jeanne Féaux de la Croix im Rahmen des SFB 923 “Bedrohte Ordnungen” organisiert.

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