Human Capital and Physics Research for the Spanish Nuclear Program
Albert Presas i Puig
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Albert Presas i Puig: Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Chapter 4 in The Economic History of Nuclear Energy in Spain, 2017, pp 97-117 from Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract The decision by the Spanish government in the early 1950s to favour nuclear power as a source of energy had important consequences for Spain at various levels: the economy, industry, international politics, and society. Inevitably, the development of the nuclear energy option also had an enormous impact on scientific disciplines, especially physics in general and various engineering fields. Also inevitably, though, in a country that has not traditionally considered science and knowledge to be the backbone of development and social progress, the development of these disciplines based on the reception of nuclear energy was hazardous, sometimes erratic, and often uncertain. Despite all this, it can be asserted that it was based on this effort regarding nuclear energy that Spain began its path in pursuit of levels of scientific quality and excellence equal to those of neighbouring countries.
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