March 15-18: Conference considers Manhattan Project legacy

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Hanford History Project at Washington State University Tri-Cities will host a conference March 15-18 at the Red Lion Hanford House that details the global impact of secret U.S. World War II nuclear weapons research and development.

“Legacies of the Manhattan Project: Reflections on 75 Years of a Nuclear World,” will welcome speakers from across the country, including historians and community activists from the three Manhattan Project National Historical Park sites (Hanford, Wash., Los Alamos, N.M., and Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and scientists, engineers and others involved in the project’s study, production efforts, cleanup and nuclear research.

Many events are free to the public. For more information, including the full conference schedule, or to register, contact Jillian Gardner-Andrews at 509-372-7447 or scroll down to the bottom of this webpage:

“After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world would never be, could never be, the same again,” said Michael Mays, WSU Tri-Cities Hanford History Project director. “Yet only now, nearly 75 years later, are we really beginning to understand the cataclysmic impacts.

“With the ongoing declassification of governmental records, increased access to historical archives and recent creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, it is an opportune time for historical reconsideration of the key roles, decisions, outcomes and effects of this critical moment in history,” he said.

Some themes of the conference will include:
• Environmental legacies of nuclear materials production
• The politics of science, national security and the state
• Atomic diplomacy and the Cold War
• The Manhattan Project National Historical Park: Memory, commemoration and the challenges of public history
• The Manhattan Project in popular culture
• Diversity and difference: The contested spaces of the Manhattan Project and Cold War

Keynote speakers for the conference will include author and filmmaker Eric Schlosser (“Fast Food Nation,” “Command and Control”); Kathleen Flenniken, Washington State Poet Laureate and one-time Hanford engineer; and Una Gilmartin, structural engineer and historical preservationist whose projects include restoration of the Washington Monument and Hanford’s White Bluffs Bank.

In addition to panel presentations, keynote addresses and a screening of “Command and Control” at the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, the conference will offer tours of the Hanford site and of the Hanford History Project repository – home to the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Hanford Collection,” which includes primary documents, photos, films and digital materials.


News media contacts:
Michael Mays, WSU Tri-Cities Hanford History Project director, 509-372-7380,
Jillian Gardner-Andrews, WSU Tri-Cities Hanford History Project coordinator, 509-372-7447,
Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations, 509-372-7333,