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Atomic Reactions: from unbridled optimism to public scepticism

Atomic Reactions: from unbridled optimism to public scepticism

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TU Delft Library

1 Prometheusplein

2628 ZC Delft

Netherlands

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An exhibition and programme with a series of linked events to discover and question our perspective around this complicated topic.

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Cutting edge new technology, interactive and moving displays, a beautifully designed exhibit and an actual working nuclear reactor. The exhibition Het Atoom from 1957 marveled the audience with its optimistic, future forward approach to the miracle of nuclear energy. Held at Schiphol Airport, it marked an important moment in the propagation of nuclear energy in postwar Netherlands. Several decades on, only the actual working reactor remains, being the reactor that is still working today on TU Delft campus. Yet the public’s opinion on nuclear energy has changed significantly over the decades. As the reactor is undergoing renovation, we revisit the current state of nuclear science on campus and in the psyche of society.

Nuclear energy evokes a tangled array of images and emotions. You might think of third world wars, radioactive materials being dumped into our oceans, or whitecoats harnessing atoms in reactors. Do you see promise of freedom from fossil fuels or fear the dangers of radiation that remain for centuries? Since its inception roughly 70 years ago, atomic science, its frames and our resulting associations have been manipulated. Our opinions are coloured by our educational and cultural backgrounds. Similarly, the framing of nuclear energy in media, politics, or the arts influences our judgement.

In this exhibition and programme of arts events, lectures, and workshops, TU Delft Library aims to untie the messy knot formed around this topic. Join us in asking the tough questions: What political, ethical, ecological, and mythological frames comprise our perspectives? How informed are we with the current state of atomic science--its history and presence on campus? Can we disconnect from how charged this subject has become in cultural myths?

The exhibition and the complementary programme will run from the end of February to early June 2022. The program consists of a building series of events. This program is a collaboration between the Library teams of Studium Generale, Open Spaces, and Academic Heritage.

Afbeelding van Atomic Reactions: from unbridled optimism to public scepticism
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Datum en tijd

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TU Delft Library

1 Prometheusplein

2628 ZC Delft

Netherlands

Kaart bekijken

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