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After Atomic Junction, along the Haatso-Atomic Road there lies the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, home to Africa's first nuclear programme after independence. Travelling along this road, Abena Dove Osseo-Asare gathers together stories of conflict and compromise on an African nuclear frontier. She speaks with a generation of African scientists who became captivated with 'the atom' and studied in the Soviet Union to make nuclear physics their own. On Pluton Lane and Gamma Avenue, these scientists displaced quiet farming villages in their bid to establish a scientific metropolis, creating an epicentre for Ghana's nuclear physics community. By placing interviews with town leaders, physicists and local entrepreneurs alongside archival records, Osseo-Asare explores the impact of scientific pursuit on areas surrounding the reactor, focusing on how residents came to interpret activities on these 'Atomic Lands'. This combination of historical research, personal and ethnographic observations shows how Ghanaians now stand at a crossroad, where some push to install more reactors, whilst others merely seek pipe-born water.Read more
- Provides a comprehensive history of the first nuclear programme in Africa after independence, which has wider implications for the future of nuclear physics in Africa
- Describes the impact of nuclear research on both local and national levels
- Combines primary sources including interviews with archival records for an engaging mix of historical research, personal and ethnographic observations
Reviews & endorsements
'A carefully researched but also deeply personal history of nuclear science in Ghana. Osseo-Asare’s history takes us from Ghanaian nuclear scientists’ measurements of fallout from French nuclear tests in Algeria in the early 1960s through to Ghana’s acquisition of a nuclear reactor from China in the 1990s, and further into the present day. Commendable for its breadth of perspective and fascinating detail.' Hugh Gusterson, George Washington University, Washington, DCSee more reviews
'A meticulous historian with an ethnographer’s eye for rich detail, Osseo-Asare boldly overturns standard accounts of Cold War atomic science, placing Ghanaian aspirations for decolonized knowledge and talented black researchers at the center. A brilliant and utterly original rendering of one nation’s nuclear dreams that are at once liberatory and frustrated.' Alondra Nelson, President of the Social Science Research Council
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- Publication planned for: October 2019
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781108471244
- dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
- contains: 28 b/w illus.
- availability: Not yet published - available from October 2019
Table of Contents
Preface: nuclear reveries
1. Introduction: 'no country has monopoly of ability'
2. Nuclear winds: particles without boundaries
3. Scientific equity: physics from the Soviets
4. Atomic reactors: a fission facility for Ghana
5. Radiation within: monitoring particles in bodies
6. Atomic lands: risks on a nuclear frontier
Epilogue: nuclear power at the crossroads.
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