HONR 2010T The Nuclear Dilemma

(B) Bachelors
(FH) Farquhar Honors College
(UHNR) Undergraduate Honors
0 credits

Drawing from the resources of the social sciences, this course presents an overview of those factors which led to the creation of atomic weapons as well as an examination of the social and political forces which contributed to their use and continued deployment. The course provides portraits of the relevant key personalities involved in weapons development and investigates the causal factors which led to the decision to use atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The social, political, psychological, and economic impact of atomic weapons on the national consciousness is examined through a detailed study of the Cold War economy, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the continued threat posed by such weapons. Prerequisite: Honors students only. Frequency: Every Winter. (Description Last Updated: Fall 2016 (201720))

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a thorough grasp, both orally and in writing, of the social, psychological, political, and socio-historical factors which governed the early part of the twentieth century and led to the development of atomic weapons.
  2. Provide evidence, in writing, that they have attained a very basic grasp of the mechanisms employed by atomic weapons, so as to understand more clearly the social and political obstacles which had to be overcome in their development, as well as the role that resources (here defined as information and personnel as well as materials) play and have played in their abundance and scarcity.
  3. Produce, through the careful use of documentary sources, a socio-historical study of some 8-12 pages in length which will examine in detail a topic of their own choosing related to the weapons research.
  4. Exhibit, orally and in writing, their understanding of the effects of the development of atomic weapons on the American psyche, including its effects on popular culture.
  5. Demonstrate familiarity with various social phenomena (such as that of ┬┐groupthink┬┐) which led to perilous decision-making and brinkmanship on the part of those governments which developed atomic weapons.
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