Historical Society’s Nov. 9 Lecture Explores Atomic America And How Students Today Learn About Atomic History

Luis A. Campos/Courtesy image


Join the Los Alamos Historical Society for an exploration of Atomic America and how students today learn about atomic history in New Mexico with Luis Campos’s lecture “A Decade of Teaching ‘Atomic America.’” The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in Fuller Lodge on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

Historical Society lectures are free and follow public health guidelines for indoor gatherings. Fuller Lodge is at 2132 Central Avenue. The November lecture will not be livestreamed or recorded.

For the past decade, UNM historian of science Luis Campos has brought his atomic history class on field trips to Los Alamos to delve deeper into the history of “Atomic America.” In this talk, he invites residents of Los Alamos to take a “field trip” with him in the other direction: into his classroom, to reflect on some stories, experiences, insights, and even surprises that have come to light over the years. From civil defense artifacts found in basements under UNM dorms and trinitite found in professors’ closets, to Hawaiian missile alerts affecting enrollment, insightful guest lecturers, and essential field trips around the state, this talk will explore a bit about what it has been like to think, teach, and learn about the history of Atomic America in a university setting. There may even be a quiz. Welcome to class!

Luis A. Campos is Associate Professor of History and Regents’ Lecturer at the University of New Mexico and Secretary of the History of Science Society, “the world’s largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in their historical context.” Trained in both biology and the history of science, Campos’ scholarship brings together archival discoveries with contemporary fieldwork at the intersection of biology and society. He has written widely on the history of genetics and is the author of Radium and the Secret of Life (2015), and editor of Making Mutations: Objects, Practices, Contexts (2010), and Nature Remade: Engineering Life, Envisioning Worlds (2021). He recently held the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress, as well as visiting positions at Columbia University, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

The lecture series continues on Feb. 8, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. with a lecture from Daniel Cordle on “Literary Los Alamos: The Manhattan Project in Fiction, Drama, Poetry, and on Screen.” Find all the details at http://www.losalamoshistory.org/events.

The Los Alamos Historical Society lecture series is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Robin and Richard McLean.

The Los Alamos Historical Society preserves, promotes, and communicates the remarkable history and inspiring stories of Los Alamos and its people for our community, for the global audience, and for future generations. More information about the Historical Society can be found at www.losalamoshistory.org. Stay up to date with the latest news from the Historical Society by following @LosAlamosHistory on Facebook and Instagram. Our members make all our work possible, join us today at https://www.losalamoshistory.org/membership.html