While anti–nuclear weapons activism in Britain and other nations has received considerable historiographical attention, its transnational professional dimensions have so far been neglected. This article thus introduces the concept of “transnational professional activism” to describe the ways in which scientific and medical professionals, driven by professional ethos and etiquette, and based on their self-fashioned expert identities, organized themselves into national interest groups situated within wider transnational networks in order to act against the perceived threat that nuclear war posed to human society. Through a comparative analysis of the activism of two key groups of atomic scientists and medical professionals at two key moments of the Cold War in Britain, the first Western European nation to acquire nuclear arms, this study examines shifts in the nature of transnational professional activism. The Atomic Scientists’ Association, with its promotion of the international control of nuclear energy from 1945 to 1948, and the Medical Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, which analyzed the anticipated medical effects of nuclear war in the years from 1980 to 1985, are at the center of this analysis.


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pp. 439-467
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