|Select one of the following topics, and discuss it using
|facts about the "Oppenheimer affair" taken
from Kipphardt's book and other sources (mandatory); and |
|theories from chapter 6 of Harris et al. |
State your own opinion about the matter in your paper.
Aim at a 450-650 word essay.
- In the Kipphardt's play, Oppenheimer expresses several
times a desire that the development of some technologies be
halted, slowed down or heavily controlled by society.
|Is this desirable, |
|is this possible, |
|what are the ramifications of your answers to 1.a/b on
the role that engineers and scientist play (or should play )
in changing the course of history of technology
(and history in general.) |
Teller was quoted
[Burns and Grant "the Atomic Papers" Scarecrow Press 1984, p. 191]
to say the following:
"The accident that we worked out this dreadful thing should not
give us scientists the responsibility of having a voice in how
it is to be used"
Confront this view with that of Oppenheimer on the same topic -
and express your own opinion.
The Oppenheimer hearings reveal a serious conflict between Oppenheimer's
personal ideologies and beliefs and those of other members of the US
Government administration. Is it legitimate to require that only people
whose ideological views coincide with those of the mainstream US government
work on security-related projects? Should Oppenheimer's political beliefs
and ideoplogy have been investigated before he was asked to head the
Los Alamos effort? How much dissent is "permissible"?
Loyalty to friends and colleagues and the stringent requirements of security
seem to be in conflict on several instances during the affair
(Jean Tatlock - Oppenheimer; Chevalier - Oppenheimer; Teller - Oppenheimer).
What are the guidelines that a scientist/engineer should follow under
such circumstances? How much should a scientist/engineer be required to reveal
pof his/her private life in exchange for a security clearance?
Do you agree with the course of investigation, the conclusions and the
actions that were taken by the committee that invetigated the Oppenheinmer
affair? Was the committee fair? Were its final decisions fair?