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Palgrave Macmillan

Ocean Science and the British Cold War State

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  • © 2018


  • Offers a detailed account of the role of ocean science in British Cold War politics
  • Explores the relationship between British politics and oceanography within the broader context of national politics and the drive to create international scientific collaborations
  • Looks beyond ocean science to broader questions of how science policy is shaped by and shapes the course of science and of politics

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About this book

This book focuses on the activities of the scientific staff of the British National Institute of Oceanography during the Cold War. Revealing how issues such as intelligence gathering, environmental surveillance, the identification of ‘enemy science’, along with administrative practice informed and influenced the Institute’s Cold War program. In turn, this program helped shape decisions taken by Government, military and the civil service towards science in post-war Britain. This was not simply a case of government ministers choosing to patronize particular scientists, but a relationship between politics and science that profoundly impacted on the future of ocean science in Britain.

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Table of contents (9 chapters)


“Ocean Science and the British Cold War State offers a valuable model for understanding how scientific networks are built, sustained, and dismantled and provides a welcome complement to U.S.-centric accounts of twentieth-century marine science.” (Antony Adler, Isis, Vol. 110 (4), 2019)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Sociology, University of York, York, United Kingdom

    Samuel A. Robinson

About the author

Samuel A. Robinson completed a PhD in the History of Science and Technology at the University of Manchester, UK (2015) and is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of York, UK, on an AHRC funded project: Unsettling Scientific Stories: Expertise, Narratives, and Future Histories.

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