Military Lecture: Atomic Soldiers – The Canadian Armed Services and Radiation Exposure during the Cold War is presented by Dr. Matthew Wiseman.
Operational between 1950 and 1959, RDU personnel participated in live trials and assessed nuclear toxicity at blast sites in the United States and Australia. Recently opened records suggest that senior officials in the Canadian Army exposed unit personnel to hazardous conditions during trials, resulting in direct exposures to dangerously high radiation levels. Dr. Wiseman will explore and discuss the military and ethical considerations of using soldiers during live nuclear weapons trials, as well as the continuing impact on the participating soldiers and their families.
MATTHEW WISEMAN is a Banting Fellow in the Department of History at St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the history of science and technology in modern Canada. With an eye to understanding the social impacts of scientific research and technological development, his published work examines the political and ethical dimensions of state-sponsored research conducted at government, private, and academic institutions. He also studies the history of Canada’s National Research Council and the role of gender in the development and progression of the natural sciences.
Wiseman holds a Ph.D. in History from Wilfrid Laurier University and the Tri-University Graduate Program in History. Upon the completion of his doctoral degree, he held a two-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of History at the University of Toronto and later a one-year Associated Medical Services (AMS) Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of History at Western University.