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Frankenstein’s machine: redressing Mark Oliphant’s scientific reputation

Version 2 2024-06-04, 11:20
Version 1 2018-05-31, 09:47
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 11:20 authored by KM Keeble
This paper scrutinizes criticisms of Mark Oliphant and his quest to build a cyclo-synchrotron in Canberra in the 1950s by analysing various portrayals of him, paying particular attention to the ways these portrayals, despite being written in different decades, are teleologically driven and reinforce a perception of failure. It addresses the key criticisms levelled at Oliphant: his ‘difficult’ personality, his perceived political naïveté and his inability to adjust to the new technological paradigm of Big Science. It questions whether these portrayals represent legitimate criticism or ideological positioning.

History

Journal

Historical records of Australian science

Volume

29

Pagination

122-129

Location

Clayton, Vic.

ISSN

0727-3061

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Australian Academy of Science

Issue

2

Publisher

CSIRO Publishing