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SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology

Building the General Relativity and Gravitation Community During the Cold War

Authors: Lalli, Roberto

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  • Provides a new perspective on the history of general relativity
  • Examines the attempt to build an institutional framework for international scientific cooperation during the Cold War
  • Investigates the influence of political factors in the evolution of a scientific field 
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eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-54654-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-54653-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This monograph presents a new perspective on the history of general relativity. It outlines the attempts to establish an institutional framework for the promotion of the field during the Cold War. Readers will learn the difficulties that key figures experienced and overcame during this period of global conflict.

The author analyzes the subtle interconnections between scientific and political factors. He shows how politics shaped the evolution of general relativity, even though it is a field with no military applications. He also details how different scientists held quite different views about what “political” meant in their efforts to pursue international cooperation. 

The narrative examines the specific epistemic features of general relativity that helped create the first official, international scientific society. It answers: Why did relativity bring about this unique result? Was it simply the product of specific actions of particular actors having an illuminated view of international relations in the specific context of the Cold War? Or, was there something in the nature of the field that inspired the actors to pioneer new ways of international cooperation?

The book will be of interest to historians of modern science, historians of international relations, and historians of institutions. It will also appeal to physicists and interested general readers.

Reviews

“Lalli details the discussions and arguments in the highly charged political atmosphere clearly and fairly. … This book is not only interesting for its detailed history of the formation of an important international organization, but it is a useful history of the historical time. The interplay between the Western and Eastern scientists exhibits the political struggle to remain civil while accepting the needs and desires of each. This struggle and civility is clearly presented.” (J. N. Goldberg, General Relativity and Gravitation, November 13, 2018)

“By mobilizing a fascinating amount of archive materials, a detailed knowledge of the field, and providing many important and far-reaching insights, Lalli’s book is a helpful introduction to the complex field of the institutionalizing of science during that era of the Cold War.” (Adam Tamas Tuboly, International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 58 (04), 2018)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-54654-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-54653-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Building the General Relativity and Gravitation Community During the Cold War
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-54654-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-54654-4
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-54653-7
Series ISSN
2211-4564
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 168
Number of Illustrations
6 b/w illustrations
Topics