Integrated Liberal Studies 251
"The Radium Girls and the Firecracker Boys"


Perhaps no other phenomenon is so intertwined with our hopes and fears, our dreams and nightmares, perhaps even with the fate of our planet. This course will weave together two stories: the "Radium Girls" and the "Firecracker Boys".   The first relates to the women who painted radioactive glow-in-the-dark watch dials as part of the first nuclear industry in our country. The second relates to the Inupiat people in Alaska who, during the Cold War, confronted the physicists who proposed using several thermonuclear devices to blast out a harbor on their land. Members of the class will then have the opportunity to explore a third story of their own choice that brings together radioactivity and people. Together, our stories will portray the complex interactions between science, society, and culture.

You will find that ILS 251 requires a team effort. You are part of this team. We need your steady participation over the course of the semester, your collaboration with others, and your input about what best can help you to learn.

To learn more, click on any of the items below, especially the one on course goals.  Welcome to ILS 251.

Course goals Teaching staff
Class topics Textbooks
Calendar Assignments
Grading ILS Program

Thank you for visiting the ILS 251 home page.
Cathy Middlecamp
Chemistry Department
Integrated Liberal Studies
(608) 262-8661
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If you are having trouble accessing this page, contact: Cathy Middlecamp.
Last updated January 14, 2011.