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  • Heisenberg in the Atomic Age

    The end of the Second World War opened a new era for science in publiclife. Heisenberg in the Atomic Age explores the transformations of sciencespublic presence in the postwar Federal Republic of Germany. It shows howWerner Heisenbergs philosophical commentaries, circulated in the mass media,secured his role as sciences public philosopher, and it reflects on his policyengagements and public political stands, which helped redefine the relationshipbetween science and the state. With deep archival grounding, the book tracksHeisenbergs interactions with intellectuals from Heidegger to Habermas andpolitical leaders from Adenauer to Brandt. It also traces his evolving statementsabout his wartime research on nuclear fission for the National Socialist regime.Working between the history of science and German history, the books centraltheme is the place of scientific rationality in public life after the atomic bomb,in the wake of the Third Reich.

    Cathryn Carson is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Office forHistory of Science and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley. Sheis coeditor, with David A. Hollinger, of Reappraising Oppenheimer: CentennialStudies and Reflections and chair of the editorial board of Historical Studies inthe Natural Sciences.

    www.cambridge.org in this web service Cambridge University Press

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  • www.cambridge.org in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press978-1-107-43695-4 - Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public SphereCathryn CarsonFrontmatterMore information

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  • publications of the german historical institute

    Washington, D.C.

    Edited byHartmut Berghoff

    with the assistance of David Lazar

    The German Historical Institute is a center for advanced study and researchwhose purpose is to provide a permanent basis for scholarly cooperationamong historians from the Federal Republic of Germany and the UnitedStates. The Institute conducts, promotes, and supports research into bothAmerican and German political, social, economic, and cultural history; intotransatlantic migration, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries;and into the history of international relations, with special emphasis on theroles played by the United States and Germany.

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    www.cambridge.org in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press978-1-107-43695-4 - Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public SphereCathryn CarsonFrontmatterMore information

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    http://www.cambridge.org/9781107436954http://www.cambridge.orghttp://www.cambridge.org

  • www.cambridge.org in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press978-1-107-43695-4 - Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public SphereCathryn CarsonFrontmatterMore information

    ExcerptIndex

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  • Heisenberg in the Atomic Age

    Science and the Public Sphere

    CATHRYN CARSONUniversity of California, Berkeley

    german historical institute

    Washington, D.C.and

    www.cambridge.org in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press978-1-107-43695-4 - Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public SphereCathryn CarsonFrontmatterMore information

    ExcerptIndex

    http://www.cambridge.org/9781107436954http://www.cambridge.orghttp://www.cambridge.org

  • 32 Avenue of the Americas, New York ny 10013-2473, usa

    Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge.

    It furthers the Universitys mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

    www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781107436954

    Cathryn Carson 2010

    This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written

    permission of Cambridge University Press.

    First published 2010First paperback edition 2014

    A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

    Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data

    Carson, Cathryn.Heisenberg in the atomic age : science and the public sphere / Cathryn Carson.

    p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.

    isbn 978-0-521-82170-4 (hardback)1. Heisenberg, Werner, 19011976 Philosophy. 2. Physics Philosophy.

    3. Science Philosophy. 4. Heisenberg, Werner, 19011976 Political and social views.5. Science and state Germany (West) I. Title.

    qc16.h45c37 2009530.092dc22 2009009616

    [b]

    isbn 978-0-521-82170-4 Hardbackisbn 978-1-107-43695-4 Paperback

    Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication,

    and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

    www.cambridge.org in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press978-1-107-43695-4 - Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public SphereCathryn CarsonFrontmatterMore information

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  • Contents

    Acknowledgments page xiArchival Abbreviations xiii

    PART I: INTRODUCTION

    1. Science and the Public Sphere 3Strategy and Approach 7Outline 11

    2. Tracking Heisenberg 19

    PART II: CULTURE

    3. The Scientist as Bildungsburger 31Bildung and Science 33Performing Bildung: Theory 37Performing Bildung: Praxis 39Enter Heisenberg 42First Lectures 44Transformations in the Foundations 48Accommodating Culture to Politics 51Public and Private 54World Pictures and Public Roles 58

    4. Physics as Philosophy 60Early Work: Fabricating Quantum Mechanics 63Making Sense of a Theory 70The Hidden Meaning of Quantum Field Theory 75The Philosophy of the Fundamental Length 79Revisiting Helgoland 81A Theory of Science 83Quantum Theory after 1945 91The Philosophy of the Future Theory 92Philosophy and Science in a World-Historical Moment 97

    vii

    www.cambridge.org in this web service Cambridge University Press

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  • viii Contents

    5. The Culture of the Event 102Mechanics: Securing the Speaker 103Performance: Science and Bildung (1949) 106Mechanics: Staging 108Performance: World Pictures on Display (1953) 109Mechanics: Amplification 113Performance: World Formulae (1958) 115Mechanics: Defining a Frame 121Performance: Goethe (1967) 122Mechanics: Multiple Meanings 126Performance: Religion and Science (1973) 127Science as Bildung: Cultural Constancy 133

    6. Bildung als Konsumgut: Dilemmas of the LiteraryPublic Sphere 136Publishing: Brave New World 137The Media Complex: Stars and Spectacles 141The Memoirs 145Countercultural Resonances 155Science in the Public Sphere 156

    PART III: POLITICS

    7. Science, Politics, and Power: Initial Orientations 161The Research System 162The Scientist 165Heisenberg on the Spot 171The Atomic Age 173

    8. A New Research System 177Postwar Boundary Conditions 178Inside the Institute 183The Max Planck Society 187National Science Policy 192International Relations 206The Postwar Settlement 215

    9. Science Policy in the Atomic Age 218Boosting Atomic Physics 220Starting on a Reactor 223Industry, the State, and the Max Planck Society 227Uncooperative Partners and the Problem of a Site 232Decisions, Mechanisms, and Consequences 237Roles, Responsibilities, and Political Concerns 243Science Policy in the Small 249Atomic Physics and Political Order 252

    www.cambridge.org in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press978-1-107-43695-4 - Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public SphereCathryn CarsonFrontmatterMore information

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  • Contents ix