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Mooney, Ryan E.Guiding “Big Science:” Competing Agency of Scientists and Funding Organizations in American Cold War Research
Master of Arts in History, Youngstown State University, 2015, Department of History
This research project aims to evaluate the agency of scientists participating in American Cold War research initiatives funded by the government. The aim will be to weigh the internal direction of scientific programs versus the external pressures faced from patron organizations such as the Department of Defense. The project utilizes secondary sources supported by governmental documentation as well as written and oral accounts of scientific and technical personnel involved in select research efforts. The two initiatives examined were aerospace research and its eventual adaptation to the space program, as well as nuclear testing and the national laboratories which supported it. Sources strongly suggested significant internal direction on the part of rank-and-file laboratory and technical personnel and very little pressure to orient research toward defense-related activities, despite some cooperative overlap.


Brian Bonhomme, PhD (Advisor); Donna DeBlasio, PhD (Committee Member); Daniel Ayana, PhD (Committee Member)


Aerospace Engineering; American History; Military Studies; Philosophy of Science


history of science;history of space program;history of nuclear testing;history of aerospace research