This edited volume comprises a series of essays about Patrick Maynard Stewart Blackett, one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, as well as a prominent figure in the Royal Navy and British politics.
Physics, War, and Politics in the Twentieth Century
Author: Mary Jo Nye
Publisher: Harvard University Press
This is a lively and compact biography of P. M. S. Blackett, one of the most brilliant and controversial physicists of the twentieth century. Nobel laureate, leader of operational research during the Second World War, scientific advisor to the British government, President of the Royal Society, member of the House of Lords, Blackett was also denounced as a Stalinist apologist for opposing American and British development of atomic weapons, subjected to FBI surveillance, and named as a fellow traveler on George Orwell's infamous list. His service as a British Royal Navy officer in the First World War prepared Blackett to take a scientific advisory role on military matters in the mid-1930s. An international leader in the experimental techniques of the cloud chamber, he was a pioneer in the application of magnetic evidence for the geophysical theory of continental drift. But his strong political stands made him a polarizing influence, and the decisions he made capture the complexity of living a prominent twentieth-century scientific life.
Scientists, International Networks, and Power in India
Author: Robert S. Anderson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
In 1974 India joined the elite roster of nuclear world powers when it exploded its first nuclear bomb. But the technological progress that facilitated that feat was set in motion many decades before, as India sought both independence from the British and respect from the larger world. Over the course of the twentieth century, India metamorphosed from a marginal place to a serious hub of technological and scientific innovation. It is this tale of transformation that Robert S. Anderson recounts in Nucleus and Nation. Tracing the long institutional and individual preparations for India’s first nuclear test and its consequences, Anderson begins with the careers of India’s renowned scientists—Meghnad Saha, Shanti Bhatnagar, Homi Bhabha, and their patron Jawaharlal Nehru—in the first half of the twentieth century before focusing on the evolution of the large and complex scientific community—especially Vikram Sarabhi—in the later part of the era. By contextualizing Indian debates over nuclear power within the larger conversation about modernization and industrialization, Anderson hones in on the thorny issue of the integration of science into the framework and self-reliant ideals of Indian nationalism. In this way, Nucleus and Nation is more than a history of nuclear science and engineering and the Indian Atomic Energy Commission; it is a unique perspective on the history of Indian nationhood and the politics of its scientific community.
Profiles in Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators recounts the development of the field of Operations Research (OR), the science of decision making. The book traces the development of OR from its military origins to a mature discipline that is recognized worldwide for its contributions to managerial planning and complex global operations. Over the past six decades, OR analyses have impacted our daily lives: when making an airline or hotel reservation, waiting in line at a bank, getting the correctly blended fuel at the gas station, and ensuring that the book you are holding arrived at its destination on time. OR originated in the late 1930s when British scientists from various disciplines joined Royal Air Force officers to determine the most effective way to employ new radar technology for intercepting enemy aircraft. During World War II, similar applied research groups were formed to study, test, and evaluate military operations on both sides of the Atlantic. Their work resulted in great improvements—OR helped the Allies win the war. The scientific field that emerged from these studies was called operational research in the U.K. and operations research in the U.S. Today, OR provides a broad and powerful science to aid decision making. Profiles describes the lives and contributions of 43 OR pioneers and innovators and relates how these individuals, with varying backgrounds and diverse interests, were drawn to the nascent field of OR. The profiles also describe how OR techniques and applications expanded considerably beyond the military context to find new domains in business and industry. In addition to their scientific contributions, these profiles capture the life stories of the individuals—interwoven with personal tales, vivid vignettes, family backgrounds, and views of the mission and future of OR. Collectively, the profiles recount the fascinating story of the growth and development of a field enriched by the convergence of different disciplines. The Editors: Arjang A. Assad is Dean of the School of Management, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Saul I. Gass is Professor Emeritus, Department of Decision, Operations & Information Technologies, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park. From the Reviews Profiles In Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators. Book Review by Nigel Cummings: U.K. OR Society's e-journal, Inside OR., Sept 2011. "I can thoroughly recommend this book. I found it both enlighteningand undeniably gripping, so much so in fact, you may find it difficultto put it down once you have commenced reading it. Arjang A. Assad and Saul I. Gass have created a masterwork whichwill serve to immortalise [stet] the pioneers of O.R. for many years to come." *For a list of all known typos, plus further discussion on the book, please visit http://profilesinoperationsresearch.com.
The Men Who Defeated the Nazi U-Boats and Brought Science to the Art of Warfare
Author: Stephen Budiansky
A Washington Post Notable Book In March 1941, after a year of devastating U-boat attacks, the British War Cabinet turned to an intensely private, bohemian physicist named Patrick Blackett to turn the tide of the naval campaign. Though he is little remembered today, Blackett did as much as anyone to defeat Nazi Germany, by revolutionizing the Allied anti-submarine effort through the disciplined, systematic implementation of simple mathematics and probability theory. This is the story of how British and American civilian intellectuals helped change the nature of twentieth-century warfare, by convincing disbelieving military brass to trust the new field of operational research.