Diplomacy and science in the context of World War II: Arthur Compton’s 1941 trip to Brazil

Por • 30 jul, 2014 • Sección: sociologia

Olival Freire Junior, Indianara Silva

Abstract: Historical literature has traced US efforts to bring Latin American countries over to the side of the Allies in WWII. Following a period of hesitation and negotiation with the US and Germany, the Brazilian government aligned itself with the US. What remains virtually unknown is the involvement of scientists in these diplomatic arrangements. Recently unearthed material has shown that Arthur Compton’s 1941 trip to a scientific conference on cosmic rays in Brazil was linked to efforts led by the Office for Inter-American Affairs under Nelson Rockefeller. For the Brazilian physicists, who, under the leadership of Gleb Wataghin, had excelled in this area of research during the late 1930s, science was a strong motivation for the visit; it was not, however, devoid of political connotations and professional interests.

arXiv:1407.6770v1 [physics.hist-ph]

History and Philosophy of Physics (physics.hist-ph)

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