The Manhattan Project
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Some of the greatest advances in science have come from humanity’s more destructive impulses. This is not the fault of science – when we discover powerful truths about the universe it’s up to us to decide how to use them because they can either be boons or banes to the world. There may be no better example of this than the work done by the Manhattan Project – the years long, multinational effort to develop an atomic bomb during World War II. The project created unfathomably destructive weapons and led to a 50 year Cold War with the USSR, but is also the source of a lot of information about the atom we didn’t have before, which has led to advances in many beneficial fields, like energy production and medicine. Science, like history, is always complicated.
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