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How Knowledge MovesWriting the Transnational History of Science and Technology$
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John Krige

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226605852

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226606040.001.0001

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Manuel Sandoval Vallarta

Manuel Sandoval Vallarta

The Rise and Fall of a Transnational Actor at the Crossroad of World War II Science Mobilization

(p.227) Chapter Eight Manuel Sandoval Vallarta
How Knowledge Moves

Adriana Minor

University of Chicago Press

This chapter reflects on the conditions that nourish or constrain transnationalism in science, through an analysis of the circumstances in which Manuel Sandoval Vallarta, a Mexican-born MIT physics professor, decided to leave the US in 1942. By then, he had consolidated a scientific career; concurrently, Vallarta became a transnational actor connecting US and Mexico’s physics communities. However, WWII altered his professional situation: unable to participate in MIT war research, he headed a US government-funded commission for the encouragement of inter-American scientific relations by means of cultural diplomacy. In this context, though, disputes over war effort priorities stressed national alignments at the expense of his transnationalism. This paper illustrates both the possibility of transnationalism, and its transient and fragile condition.

Keywords:   transnationalism, transnational actor, WWII science mobilization, inter-American relations, cultural diplomacy, Manuel Sandoval Vallarta

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