Celia Oney in the Reactor Building at Oregon State’s Radiation Center

Oregon State University’s History and Philosophy of Science has a new club, the Nuclear History Book Club. The club, which just had its first get together, meets a couple times a term to discuss a book related to nuclear history. The first book that the club read and discussed was A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin’s War with the West by Luke Harding. The upcoming book is Idaho Falls: The Untold Story of America’s First Nuclear Accident by William McKeown. The next meeting to discuss this book is scheduled for sometime in week 2 or 3 of Spring Term 2020.

It all started with a little plutonium…..

The book club is the brainchild of Celia Oney, a first year master’s student in the History and Philosophy of Science program. Oney got the idea for the book club after she read Plutopia by Kate Brown, (a book about plutonium plants in the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War) for an environmental history class taught by the History and Philosophy of Science’s graduate advisor, Jacob Hamblin. The book made Oney realize that she craved more opportunities to talk about nuclear history. Oney’s interest in nuclear history is not just a passing hobby. Not only does she study nuclear history, she also works at Oregon State University’s Radiation Center as the Reactor Supervisor for the past 5 years.

Initially envisioned as a way for nuclear engineering students to learn more about the history of their field and to give OSU’s Radiation Center staff an opportunity to interact with students in a unique way, the club is open to all who are interested. Currently members are from all different departments and are comprised of faculty, staff, and students. All books are selected by members of the club and represent a wide range of nuclear history topics. Joining the club does not require any long-term commitment. Anyone can join for a meeting to see if they enjoy it.

If you are interested in joining the club, please email Celia Oney at Celia.Oney@oregonstate.edu for more information.

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