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Angela N. H. Creager
Princeton University (Princeton, NJ 08540-5228)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 6/30/2007

Atoms for Peace and Health: Tracing the Manhattan Project through Postwar Biomedicine

After World War II, the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) began mass-producing radioisotopes, sending out nearly 64,000 shipments of radioactive materials to scientists and physicians by 1955. Even as the atomic bomb became the currency of the Cold War, radioisotopes represented the government’s efforts to harness power of the atom for peace—advancing medicine, domestic energy, and foreign relations. AEC radioisotopes provided physicians with new tools for diagnosis and therapy and equipped biologists to trace molecular transformations from metabolic pathways to ecosystems. My book will tell the story of how these radioisotopes, which were simultaneously scientific tools and political icons, transformed biomedicine.