Teaching Science through History
Introduction || Contents || Resources  

The Committee on Uranium, 1939

by Douglas Allchin

In 1939 a group of U.S. scientists and military experts met to decide whether (and how) to pursue research on a possible atomic bomb. In this project, each participant assumes the role of a historical figure who was there and recreates the historical event, reaching their own decision.

This simulation is an opportunity to teach about several features of how science works:

  • funding scientitifc research
  • scientific uncertainty
  • scientific communication (openness)
  • science and politics, especially weapons.

The simulation activity includes: project profile, background, guidance for participants, list of resources, epilog and teaching notes.

Go to simulation.
Go to teaching notes.