Nuclear museum to host virtual event on gay Manhattan Project scientist

June 23, 2022, 3:03PMANS Nuclear Cafe

John Ibson

In an era where being openly gay could get you blacklisted, how was one scientist able to keep his high-security clearance level with the Manhattan Project and beyond? To find out, attend the virtual event “A ‘Lavender Lad’ with a Security Clearance: A Gay Scientist and Homophobia in Midcentury America” on June 24 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT). The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History is sponsoring the event and the featured speaker is John Ibson, professor emeritus of American studies at California State University–Fullerton.

The webinar, which requires advance registration, is free for members of the museum. Members can obtain a promo code by emailing the museum’s membership associate, Jennifer Thompson. For others, the registration fee is $10.

Claude Schwob

What’s it about: Ibson will discuss “the effect that WW II and the McCarthy Era had on the lives of queer people in the 20th century.” His talk will highlight the story of Claude Schwob, an openly gay chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project and later at the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory in San Francisco and eventually became one of the foremost experts on radiation.

About the speaker: Ibson is an award-winning educator, historian, and author known for his focus on issues related to masculinity and sexuality in the United States. His books include Picturing Men: A Century of Male Relationships in Everyday American Photography; The Mourning After: Loss and Longing among Midcentury American Men; and Men without Maps: Some Gay Males of the Generation before Stonewall.

Further information: Additional information about the event can be obtained by emailing the museum.


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