The conversion of the atom: Nuclear science and ideology in Francoist Spain

Xavier Roqué Rodríguez


At the beginning of the atomic age, Francoist Spain launched an expensive project for the research, development and use of nuclear energy. Scientists, the military and high-ranking officials in the administration mobilised to materialise a techno-scientific dream of international scope. The modernity of nuclear science contrasts with the reactionary ideology of the regime, but the paradox is only apparent, because there is no necessary historical relation between science and democracy. The stimulus to nuclear technoscience reveals the mutual construction of science and politics during the Cold War era and the different ways to appropriate and exploit the atom during the dictatorship.

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